Top young talent goes head-to-head around the country

Scotland’s top young rugby prospects are set to go head-to-head in a month-long series of age-grade fixtures around the country, culminating in the Finals Day at BT Murrayfield on Sunday 21 August (all fixtures free to attend).

The 24-match series across three competing BT Sport Academy age groups (under-20, U18 and U16) begins tomorrow (Wednesday, 27 July) in Lasswade as Edinburgh U20 face Caledonia U20 (6pm) before Glasgow & The West U20 take on the Borders & East Lothian U20 (7.45pm) at the same venue.

Series rounds will then take place in Galashiels, Cumbernauld and Aberdeen, before the finals day in Edinburgh, and will feature a number of BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players alongside hundreds of others who have been identified, selected and developed by their respective regions after being nominated by their clubs and schools.

Last season’s match ups saw 403 players (43 supported within the BT Sport Academy) and 45 coaches (six from the BT Sport Academy Staff) involved, helping expose a wider pool of both players and coaches in an intensified, competitive environment.

Following last year’s matches, an additional eight players were subsequently inducted into a BT Sport Academy for the 2015/16 season, taking the year-one intake to 95.

These fixtures are hugely important for our most talented players, as they give them a chance to compete and be benchmarked against their peers over a significant period of time that includes training as well as games.

- - Head of Academy and Performance Programmes, Stephen Gemmell

“We have brought the fixtures forward to avoid clashes with club and school programmes and to take advantage of better playing conditions, while selection of our new BT Sport Academy players for the 2016/17 season will take place after their conclusion, in acknowledgment of their importance to helping identify talented players.

“We’re looking forward to a series of keenly-contested matches leading to the Finals Day at BT Murrayfield.”