Regional age-grade championships launched to support BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Programme

Scotland’s aspiring young players will be given the chance to shine in a new series of regional fixtures designed to support talent development in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.

Following the national launch at BT Murrayfield on 27th June the four BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academies in Glasgow & The West, Caledonia, Edinburgh, and The Borders & East Lothian have already been preparing for the 2015/16 BT Sport Scottish Rugby Regional Academy Championship fixtures at U16, U18 & U20 levels.

Each BT Sport Academy will play each other in a league format, starting on Friday 7th August and continuing throughout August. The tournament will run the bonus point scoring system to encourage even more competition with an extra point awarded to a winning team for scoring four tries and to a losing team which stays within 7 points.

The BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy fixtures are being scheduled early in the calendar to ensure minimal impact on the school and club game.

Importantly players will also benefit from better weather and pitch conditions in a move designed to help skills development.

The fixtures will take place all over the country and where possible be played at the home of the respective BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy. Broadwood Stadium hosts the first round of matches over the weekend of 7/9 August and then Burnbrae, the home of West of Scotland FC takes over as the Glasgow  & The West venue for the weekend of 14/16 August. To round off the August schedule of matches the BT Sport Academy U20 Championship then moves up to Kings Park, the home of Aberdeen University and the home of the BT Sport Academy in Caledonia.

The tournament winners will be decided in October with two finals days where the Regional Academy Champions at U16, U18 & U20 level will be crowned.

Scottish Rugby’s Head of Academy and Performance Programmes Stephen Gemmell said: “It is great the launch of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy has given us the framework to begin a competitive and important regional competition which will help raise the standards of young players across the country. These matches will be regular fixtures in the calendar and create internal competition and regional pride within Scotland.

“Following the national launch in June, it is now great to see the initial hard work of all the BT Sport Academy staff, volunteers and players in each region coming to fruition with the start of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Regional Championship at U16, U18 and U20 levels. These matches not only provide a highly competitive environment for the regional teams but also an important opportunity for players throughout the country to put their hands up for selection for both the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and also our international age-grade teams.”

The Championship is designed to give existing Academy players an opportunity to pit themselves against their regional counter-parts and impress selectors looking for talent to represent Scotland at the respective age-grade levels.

It also provides players from across the four regions not yet in the Academy or representative set-ups with a chance to impress, as well as providing a source of potential Academy recruits for the future.

Each region will have playing squads of 23 players at each of the three age-grade levels.

Entry to all matches is free and all parents, supporters and the rugby public are encouraged to come along and watch the performance players of the future represent their BT Sport Academies and region.

 

August Dates / Venues

Date

Venue

Activity

Fri 7th Aug

Glasgow & West Venue

Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld   

4 x Fixtures at U16 & U18 Levels

2.30pm - Caledonia U16 v Edinburgh U16

3.45pm - The Borders & East Lothian U16 v Glasgow & The West U16

5.00pm - Caledonia U18 v Edinburgh U18

6.15pm - The Borders & East Lothian U18 v Glasgow & The West U18

Sun 9th Aug

Glasgow & West Venue

Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld

2 x Fixtures at U20 Level

5.00pm - Caledonia U20 v Edinburgh U20

6.30pm - Glasgow & The West U20 v The Borders & East Lothian U20

Fri 14th Aug

Glasgow Venue

West of Scotland FC, Glasgow

2 x Fixtures at U20 Level

6.00pm - Glasgow & The West U20 v Caledonia U20

7.30pm - Edinburgh U20 v The Borders & East Lothian U20

Sun 16th Aug   

Glasgow & West Venue

West of Scotland FC, Glasgow

4 x Fixtures at U16 & U18 Levels

12noon - Edinburgh U16 v The Borders & East Lothian U16

1.30pm - Glasgow & The West U16 v Caledonia U16

3.00pm - Glasgow & The West U18 v Caledonia U18

4.45pm - Edinburgh U18 v The Borders & East Lothian U18

Sun 23rd Aug

Caledonia Venue

Kings Park, Aberdeen

 

2 x Fixtures at U20 Level

1.00pm - Edinburgh U20 v Glasgow & The West U20

2.45pm - Caledonia U20 v The Borders & East Lothian U20

Dates and venues for the matches in October will be confirmed following the initial round of matches in August.