Edinburgh College crank it up at Carrick

Edinburgh College recently made a trip to Carrick 7s, near Belfast, winning the Quigg Golden Open Bowl and reaching the Cup final of the under-19 competition.

Some 42 teams - travelling from Scotland, England and Ireland - competed in five tournaments across the three days, in Northern Ireland’s biggest sevens event.

Edinburgh College, a team made up of students on the rugby performance course, reached the final of the under-19 competition on the first day of the event, where they met an IRFU President’s Select side, a development team for Irish age-grade representative players, who defeated them 26-10.

Despite going down in the final of the under-19  Cup competition, Edinburgh College bounced back with a win in the senior Bowl final of the Quigg Golden Open competition, where they were beat Wigtownshire 52-14.

Robert Chrystie, Director of the rugby performance course at Edinburgh College, said: “This was the first outing for the boys as a team and they did incredibly well, only going down to what was basically an Ireland under-19 side in the final.

“The team performed excellently throughout the weekend, battling the fatigue of the competition on the first day to go on and claim the Bowl the following afternoon.

“Our course focusses on developing the players as individuals, so for them all to come together and perform so well as a team is a great effort – with a little bit more belief who knows, we could have gone on to beat the IRFU Select in the Cup final.”

The Edinburgh College course doesn’t form a direct link with player’s clubs, however, does correlate with the domestic leagues as each student is encouraged to play and train for their respective team each week.

Dougie Fife was the first product of the Edinburgh College rugby performance course to gain full international honours this year as he won a cap for Scotland in their RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales.

During this year’s under-20 Six Nations Championship, six of the players involved in the squad – Damien Hoyland, Sam Pecquer, Sam Chalmers, Lewis Carmichael, Isaac Miller and Ruairidh Young- were students on the Edinburgh College course.