Lamont and Robertson join BT Sport Academy coaching team

Scotland cap centurion Sean Lamont and Olympic silver medallist Mark Robertson have joined the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy coaching team to develop the nation’s top young rugby talent.

The pair are among five changes to the strength and conditioning (S&C) teams of the academy structure – which operates out of four regional centres in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Galashiels – having studied towards the specialism during their playing careers.

Robertson – who graduated with a Sport & Exercise Science degree from Edinburgh Napier in 2007 and completed his Masters at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 has been appointed to the Borders & East Lothian academy as a replacement for Mike Legget, who takes on the Lead S&C role at Glasgow & West following the promotion of Derrick Speirs into the Scotland 7s backroom.

Lamont joins the Glasgow & West team at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld, having completed the shift from player to coach he’d targeted since graduating in 2002 with a degree in Sport & Exercise Science from Sheffield Hallam University – two years before he made his Scotland debut.

Lamont takes the position previously occupied by Kathryn Gallagher who has stepped into a newly-created role, overseeing the Scotland Women programme.

Robertson, said: “Mike [Legget] has done a great job at the Borders academy and I want to make sure that best practice continues. I still have a lot to learn and the expertise already in the academy makes it the perfect place to kick-start my coaching career.

“The athleticism and skill level of the 17 and 18-year-old players coming out of the system has vastly improved over recent years and that has a lot to do with the academy.

“It’s made a huge difference to the performances and results and under-20s – who are now better equipped for the senior game – and Scotland 7s teams, so I’m delighted to be part of it and help develop the next generation of rugby players.”

Stephen Gemmell, Head of Academy and Performance Programmes, said it was important to acknowledge that the academies – increasingly well-known for developing quality players – is also creating opportunities to develop coaches.

He said: “I’m pleased to see the progression of quality coaches Mike [Legget], Derrick [Scotland 7s] and Kathryn [Gallagher] into new roles as the academy, which illustrates the excellent opportunities being created to develop staff as well as players.

“It’s also of huge value to bring the knowledge and experience of Sean [Lamont] and Mark [Robertson] into the system as they transition from playing to coaching.”

BT Sport Scottish Rugby academy

The BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy represents the nation’s most promising male and female rugby players. Week in, week out the BT Sport Academies 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.

Last season (2016/17) saw more Academy players going on to sign senior professional contracts at clubs, including Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, and two recent graduates Ali Price and Nick Grigg make their first international appearance.

Furthermore, some 12 players helped Scotland Women achieve two memorable victories in the Six Nations – their first since 2010.