BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy reaches significant milestone

Scottish Rugby launched its new talent development pathway, the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday (27 June). 

Some 87 of the nation’s most promising male and female rugby players became the first tranche of inductees to enter the brand new academy at a special opening event at the home of Scottish Rugby.

Stuart Hogg with the Hawick contingency entering the BT Sport Scottish Rugby AcademyThe players were presented with their Academy jerseys unique to the four regions – Borders and East Lothian, Caledonia, Edinburgh and Glasgow and the West – in which they will be based, from current Scotland internationalists, who have come through the previous Elite Development Player programme. 

The players have been identified to enter the four Academy facilities as Scottish Rugby aims to deepen the pool of players capable of competing at the top levels of the game and strengthen its player development pathway.

The announcement sees one of Scottish Rugby’s major policy initiatives, announced in November 2013, come to fruition.

Scottish Rugby has secured a series of fundamental national and regional partners, which will play a vital role in the delivery of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and put in place a permanent infrastructure to help future proof the game.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “Improving the depth and quality of our player pool has been an absolute priority for some time now, and today’s induction is a significant achievement on that path.

“In recent years we have seen a high standard of international players coming through our Elite Development Player programme, but in this ever-evolving sport we must keep improving how we bring through the next generation of players.

“Scottish Rugby thanks BT, and our regional partners, who have bought into our vision and helped bring it to fruition.

We set ourselves a target 18 months ago to deliver a national academy structure and we have delivered on that.”

Scott Johnson, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby, said: “The world of rugby doesn’t stand still. We need to constantly ensure our young talent has access to the best possible facilities, development programmes and expertise, to help us bring on players who are prepared for the rigours of professional and international rugby. 

“Developing the logistics for the new structure has been our first challenge. We now move into the operational phase, and I believe we have the right team in place to make that a success.”

Grant Gilchrist presents Emma Wassell with her Caledonia jerseyIt is intended the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy will have a positive impact on all levels of the game, with its players contributing to the top level of domestic rugby, continuing contact with the two pro-teams and in contention for selection to international age-grade and representative sides. 

Each player will benefit from bespoke strength, conditioning, medical and playing facilities and expertise, from both the dedicated Academy staff and from the continued partnership with the sportscotland Institute of Sport.

They will also be encouraged and enabled to take on further education and employment opportunities during their time in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, to help develop their lives outside of rugby.

Scottish Rugby Head of Academy and Performance Programmes, Stephen Gemmell, said: “The BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy will provide our players with state-of-the-art facilities and support, whilst immersing them in a professional rugby environment.

 

This is a hugely exciting time for Scottish Rugby. There has been a great deal of hard work put in to get us to this stage and the announcement of the players today is the final piece of the implementation jigsaw.

“Now the focus turns to everyone working together to ensure that the players make best use of the opportunities afforded to them”.

Brendan Dick, Director of BT Scotland, said: “From the beginning we have set out to support Scottish Rugby at all levels of the game with a specific focus on creating a positive impact in local communities.

“The BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy will give young people playing rugby at clubs throughout Scotland a real target to aim for in terms of their personal development. Our investment will help develop these players as athletes and as people who can bring the skills they have learned back to their clubs, schools and communities.” 

Netherdale campus

It has also been confirmed that the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Borders and East Lothian will operate from the Netherdale Campus, in Galashiels. 

This is the fourth and final facility to be announced and has been made possible through a partnership with Heriot-Watt University, Borders College, Gala Junior Rugby Council and the Borders Sport and Leisure Trust.

Chris Dewsnap, the Borders and East Lothian Academy Manager, and his staff will have access to state-of-the-art gym facilities at TriFitness and the 3G pitch at Fairydean, while Heriot-Watt will provide office, rehab and medical space, with Hayward Pavilion hosting changing and on-field medical facilities. Borders College will provide access to the gym and will offer additional office space.

Dewsnap said: "The partners that have come together across the region have allowed us to produce the required facilities that will support players towards their ambition of professional rugby and playing for Scotland. 

“Each individual part of the campus provides excellent facilities that will allow the players to work hard towards developing all aspects of their performance and continue to contribute to the strong rugby tradition in the region."

Notes to editors

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Borders and East Lothian

  • Venue: Netherdale Campus (including Hayward Pavilion)
  • Partners: Heriot-Watt, Borders College, Gala Junior Rugby Council and Borders Sport and Leisure Trust

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Caledonia

  • Venue: Hillhead Sports Campus and Aberdeen Sports Village
  • Partners: University of Aberdeen 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Edinburgh

  • Venue: Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus and Sighthill Park pitches
  • Partners: Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh City Council 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Glasgow and the West

  • Venue: Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld
  • Partners: North Lanarkshire Leisure

 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players for 2015/16 

 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Borders and East Lothian

Stephen

Ainslie

Stage 2

Currie

Number 8

Harry

Borthwick

Stage 2

Melrose

Lock

Lewis

Carmichael

Stage 3

Melrose

Lock

Tom

Galbraith

Stage 3

Melrose

Stand-off

Darcy

Graham

Stage 2

Hawick

Full-back

Ross

Graham

Stage 3

Hawick

Hooker

Andrew

Grant-Suttie

Stage 2

North Berwick

Openside flanker

Finn

Hobbis

Stage 2

North Berwick HS / North Berwick

Loosehead Prop

Andrew

Horne

Stage 2

 Preston Lodge

Blindside flanker

Grant

Huggan

Stage 2

Hawick

Stand-off

Craig

Pringle

Stage 2

Melrose

Centre

Fraser

Renwick

Stage 2

Hawick

Hooker

Gary

Robertson

Stage 3

Gala

Tighthead Prop

Chloe

Rollie

Stage 2

Melrose Ladies

Full-back

Daniel

Suddon

Stage 2

Hawick Wanderers / Hawick

Lock

George

Taylor

Stage 3

Melrose

Centre

Lisa

Thomson

Stage 2

Melrose Ladies

Centre

 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Caledonia 

Kaleem

Barreto

Stage 2

Glenalmond College

Scrum-half

Callum

Cruickshank

Stage 2

Dollar Academy

Number 8

Matt

Emmison

Stage 2

Aberdeenshire

Hooker

Ben

Enyon

Stage 2

Strathallan School

Winger

Matt

Fagerson

Stage 2

Strathallan School

Blindside flanker

Bruce

Flockhart

Stage 3

Strathallan School / Highland *

Blindside flanker

Ewan

Fox

Stage 2

High School of Dundee

Scrum-half

George

Goodenough

Stage 2

Ellon

Stand-off

Caitlan

Harvey

Stage 2

Caithness

Winger

Josh

Henderson

Stage 2

Glasgow Hawks

Stand-off

Megan

Kennedy

Stage 2

Stirling County

Tighthead Prop

Duncan

Leese

Stage 2

Dundee HSFP

Centre

Murray

McCallum

Stage 3

Heriot’s

Loosehead Prop

Lewis

McLean

Stage 2

Strathallan School

Tighthead Prop

Mark

New

Stage 2

Strathallan School

Centre

Adam

Nicol

Stage 2

Dunfermline

Loosehead Prop

Lucy

Park

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Openside flanker

Bruce

Sorbie

Stage 2

Aberdeenshire *

Full-back

Emma

Wassell

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Lock

Lewis

Wynne

Stage 3

Stirling County

Openside flanker

  

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Edinburgh 

Ben

Appleson

Stage 2

The Edinburgh Academy

Full-back

Hamish

Bain

Stage 2

Currie

Lock

Jack

Cosgrove

Stage 3

Boroughmuir

Loosehead Prop

Luke

Crosbie

Stage 2

Currie

Blindside flanker

Katie

Dougan

Stage 2

RHC Cougars

Tighthead Prop

Ross

Dunbar

Stage 2

Stirling County

Loosehead Prop

Fin

Field

Stage 2

Edinburgh University *

Lock

Hugh

Fraser

Stage 3

Heriot’s

Scrum-half

Thomas

Gordon

Stage 2

Currie

Openside flanker

Ali

Greig

Stage 2

Stewart’s-Melville

Winger

Mhairi

Grieve

Stage 2

RHC Cougars

Scrum-half

Fergus

Haig

Stage 2

Fettes College

Openside flanker

Ruairi

Howarth

Stage 3

Gala

Full-back

Jake

Kerr

Stage 3

Boroughmuir

Hooker

Sarah

Law

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Scrum-half

Lisa

Martin

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Stand-off

Ross

McCann

Stage 2

Royal High School *

Winger

Grant

McConnell

Stage 3

Boroughmuir

Winger

Ally

Miller

Stage 3

Melrose

Number 8

Ben

Robbins

Stage 3

Watsonians *

Winger

Lisa

Robertson

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Tighthead Prop

Charlie

Shiel

Stage 2

Currie

Scrum-half

Eilidh

Sinclair

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Winger

Aaron

Tait

Stage 2

Merchiston Castle School

Scrum-half

 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Glasgow and the West 

Paul

Cairncross

Stage 2

East Kilbride / Kelvinside Academy

Hooker

Rachel

Cook

Stage 2

Murrayfield Wanderers

Blindside flanker

Scott

Cummings

Stage 3

Glasgow Hawks

Lock

 

Andrew

Davidson

Stage 3

Glasgow Hawks

Lock

Michael

Dewar

Stage 3

Wasps *

Openside flanker

Cameron

Fenton

Stage 3

Stirling County

Hooker

Robbie

Fergusson

Stage 3

Ayr

Centre

Calum

Gaw

Stage 2

Ayr *

Centre

Nick

Griggs

Stage 3

Stirling County

Centre

George

Horne

Stage 3

Glasgow Hawks

Scrum-half

Martin

Hughes

Stage 2

St. Aloysius College

Blindside flanker

Calum

Hunter-Hill

Stage 3

Stewart’s-Melville FP *

Lock

Patrick

Kelly

Stage 3

Le Parc *

Centre

Jade

Konkel

Stage 2

Hillhead Jordanhill

Number 8

Charlie

Lonergan

Stage 2

GHA

Centre

James

Malcolm

Stage 3

Ayr

Hooker

Keiron

McDonald

Stage 3

Glasgow Hawks

Lock

Louise

McMillan

Stage 2

Hillhead Jordanhill

Blindside flanker

Gregor

Paxton

Stage 2

Ayr

Centre

Ali

Price

Stage 3

Ayr

Scrum-half

Paul

Ramsey

Stage 2

Glasgow Hawks

Winger

Archie

Russell

Stage 2

Ayr

Centre

Andrew

Simpson

Stage 2

Currie

Number 8

Lana

Skeldon

Stage 2

Hillhead Jordanhill

Hooker

Robbie

Smith

Stage 2

Newton Stewart *

Hooker

Matt

Smith

Stage 3

Glasgow Hawks

Openside flanker

 

* notes a player’s club/school in 2014/15, before entering the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy