Latest intake of top young talent confirmed

Scottish Rugby today confirmed the country’s leading young players to be recruited, retained and promoted into the top, full-time tier of the BT Sport Academy.

Some 11 players from the system secured senior professional club contracts last season, with Edinburgh Rugby recruiting six (Hugh Fraser, Tom Galbraith, Darcy Graham [pictured right], Calum Hunter-Hill, Murray McCallum, Ally Miller) and Glasgow Warriors five (Jamie Bhatti, George Horne, Patrick Kelly, Matt Smith, Lewis Wynne).

Their promotion has created space for this season’s new intake, which sees nine players promoted from stage two and eight new faces enter the system.



New addition

Hamilton Burr
Archie Erskine
Stafford McDowell
Robbie Nairn
Adam Nicol [pictured below in action for Glasgow Warriors]
Grant Stewart
George Stokes
Sam Yawayawa

Promoted from stage two

Hamish Bain
Kaleem Barreto
Ross Dunbar
Josh Henderson
Euan McLaren
Gary Munro
Fraser Renwick
Robbie Smith
Jamie Ure


Head of Academy and Performance Programmes, Stephen Gemmell, said: “It’s great to see so many of our talented young players be rewarded with professional contracts in Scotland and graduate from our BT Sport Academy system.

“The latest intake of players demonstrates our continued investment in the next generation, an increased input from the pro teams in their selection and our commitment to future-proof our game in Scotland.”

The BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy represents the nation’s most promising players allocated to one of four regional centres in Aberdeen, Cumbernauld, Edinburgh and Galashiels, where they focus on three pillars of player development: high performance behaviours, rugby skills and athletic capacity.

These include but are not restricted to an athlete’s training history and work ethic, and technical proficiency and consistency in skill delivery, while ensuring they are physically and functionally capable, self-sufficient and self-aware.

The academy’s alignment to the professional game last year through Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby and London Scottish was also key to the players’ development and allowed for 16 players to feature in 122 senior professional matches over the course of the season (70 starts).

Gemmell explained that this transitional game-time from the academy and club/school matches into the senior ranks is one of the key pillars of its growing success.

He added: “The opportunities and impact that our top end players are having in professional matches, demonstrates how well the academies, alongside their club and school programmes, are preparing players for the demands of the modern game.

“It's vital that the system is able to produce individuals capable of playing professional rugby during the season to support our professional clubs during their Guinness PRO12 and European commitments.”

Also confirmed today are the earlier ‘supported’ stages (one and two) of the programme, which – alongside returning players – sees, initially, nine new players selected to take the spaces vacated by those promoted through the system or no longer included.

A second intake of supported players will be announced after the regional age-grades series in July and August, allowing for individuals to demonstrate their future potential and to play their way into the programme.

2017/18 BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy stage three (full-time) players:

The Borders & East Lothian: Gary Munro (Jed Forest), Fraser Renwick (Hawick).

Edinburgh: Hamish Bain (Currie), Jason Baggott (Melrose), Luke Crosbie (Currie), Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir), Archie Erskine (Boroughmuir), Cameron Hutchison (Currie), Thomas Gordon (Currie), Ross McCann (Melrose), Charlie Shiel (Currie), George Taylor (Melrose), Jamie Ure (Boroughmuir), Dan Winning (Boroughmuir).

Glasgow & West: Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), Bruce Flockhart (Glasgow Hawks), Josh Henderson (Glasgow Hawks), Jade Konkel (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Stafford McDowell (Ayr), Robbie Nairn (Ayr), Adam Nicol (Stirling County), Robbie Smith (Ayr), Grant Stewart (Glagsow Hawks), George Stokes (Toulon), Sam Yawayawa (Leicester Tigers).

Caledonia: Kaleem Barreto (Glenalmond College), Hamilton Burr (Stirling County), Euan McLaren (Dollar Academy).

2017/18 BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy-supported players:

The Borders & East Lothian: Patrick Anderson (Melrose), Thomas Brown (Melrose), Kyle Brunton (Hawick), Rory Darge (North Berwick), Anna Forsyth* (Gala Vixens), Roan Frostwick (North Berwick HS / RFC), Adam Hall (Melrose), Lauren Harris* (Melrose Ladies), Robbie McCallum (Loretto School), Finlay Scott (Jed Forest).

Edinburgh: Callum Atkinson* (Boroughmuir), Shaun Gunn* (Edinburgh Accies), Finn Hobbis (Stewart’s Melville), Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians), Nicola Howat* (Edinburgh University), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers), Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University), Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers), Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Dean Roger (Edinburgh Accies), Chloe Rollie (Murrayfield Wanderers), Eilidh Sinclair (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lisa Thomson (Edinburgh University).

Glasgow & West: Scott Bell (Scott Bell / Kelvinside Academy), Paul Cairncross (Glasgow Hawks), Ross Jackson (Biggar), Andrew Jardine (Melrose), Guy Kelly* (Biggar), Mhairi McDonald* (Hillhead Jordanhill), Louise McMillan (Murrayfield Wanderers), Andrew Nimmo* (Biggar), Craig Pringle (Stirling County), Kirsty Reid* (Hillhead Jordanhill), Bruce Sorbie (Stirling County), Gavin Wilson (Dumfries Saints), Dan York (West of Scotland).

Caledonia: Fergus Bradbury (Stirling County), Karen Dunbar (RHC Cougars), Angus Fraser (Dundee), George Goodenough (Strathallan School), Caitlin Harvey (RHC Cougars), Grant Hughes (Dollar Academy), Megan Kennedy (Stirling County), Andrew McLean (Stirling County), Lucy Park (Murrayfield Wanderers), Logan Trotter (Stirling County), Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers).

* New player

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players to earn senior professional club contracts in 2016/17:

Glasgow Warriors: Jamie Bhatti, George Horne, Patrick Kelly, Matt Smith, Lewis Wynne

Edinburgh Rugby: Hugh Fraser, Tom Galbraith, Darcy Graham, Calum Hunter-Hill, Murray McCallum, Ally Miller.