Brand new season of Mitsubishi Motors Schools & Youth Conferences begin

Scottish Rugby's leading Schools & Youth development programme, the Mitsubishi Motors Schools & Youth Conferences, kick off for a new season on Saturday 26 August.

Now in its third year of competitive fixtures the Mitsubishi Motors Conferences provide a playing environment for young players from S1 (U13) to Under 18s age groups.

Schools and clubs play in Conferences based on their development infrastructure and number of teams they run.

Scottish Rugby manages the fixture calendar to enable schools and clubs to play across their respective age-groups on the same day or weekend. Competition points are awarded to each match played, enabling every team to contribute to the school or club's success in the overall Conference table.

Since launching in 2015 the Conferences have gone from strength to strength, generating a 14% increase in competing institutions last season from the 2015/16 debut.

A total of 156 state schools, 26 independent schools and 93 clubs took part in the competition which runs from late August to mid-December each season.

The first players to emerge into the professional game from the Conference structure are now being seen, with several now in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.

Glasgow Warriors Matt Fagerson and Stafford McDowell, who are both Academy players have also represented Scotland U20s and were playing Conference rugby two years ago.

In March 2017 existing Scottish Rugby supporter Mitsubishi Motors UK extended their partnership to become the title sponsor of the programme which saw the Conferences take the names of vehicles in the car maker's range. 

Interim Director of Domestic Rugby Sheila Begbie said: "The Mitsubishi Motors' Conferences have quickly developed into an essential tier of rugby development for young players, both boys and girls. It provides structured fixtures which are aimed at ensuring youngsters play according to their ability and can grow their skills and development.

"Having an international brand like Mitsubishi now sponsoring the Conferences demonstrates the impact the programme has achieved over a short period of time and the feedback from schools and clubs has been very positive, giving us plenty to build on."

Scottish Rugby's Head of Schools and Youth, Colin Thomson said: "We know that young people make choices during their teenage years about their future sporting ambitions so ensuring as many as possible are part of good training and playing programmes is crucial to the whole rugby development process across Scotland.

This is what the Mitsubishi Motors' Conference structure is all about, giving young people the competence and confidence to develop an attachment and stay in the game in whatever capacity suits them.

"I look forward to seeing more progression throughout the Conferences this season."

Mitsubishi Motors UK's Partnership Engagement Manager, Martin Woodward said: "Mitsubishi Motors are delighted to be the title partner of Schools & Youth Conferences.

"We are passionate about the game at the grassroots level and to be involved with such a fantastic initiative; helping to grow both the number of games being played and players involved is something we are very proud of.

"We would like to wish all the players/officials/coaches/helpers and any other individuals involved with the Conferences a successful season."


Mitsubishi Motors' Schools & Youth Conferences 2017/18

Previously: Club President's Conference - new name: Shogun Conference
Previously: Girls' President's Conference - new name: Mirage Conference
Previously: Club Red Conference - new name: Lancer Conference
Previously: Club Green Conference - new name: Galant Conference
Previously: Borders Town v Town Conference - new name: Warrior Conference
Previously: Schools' Red Conference - new name: Colt Conference
Previously: Schools' White Conference - new name: L200 Conference
Previously: Schools' Black Conference - new name: Barbarian Conference
Previously: Schools' Blue Conference - new name: Eclipse Conference
Previously: Schools' Purple Conference - new name: Outlander Conference
Previously: Schools' Orange Conference - new name: Evolution Conference
Previously: Schools' Green Conference - new name: Grandis Conference