Scotland Club XV announce squad to play Ireland

Scotland Club XV have announced their squad to take on Ireland Club XV in the new year.

The squad of 35, representing the best of BT Premiership and National League 1 talent for 2017/18, will play two matches against Ireland and a training match versus Scotland U20.

All 10 of the top-flight teams are represented as well as Gala, whose stand-off, Gregor Hunter, has been selected from BT National League 1.

League leaders, Melrose, are rewarded for their strong season so far with 10 players selected while reigning BT Premiership champions, Ayr, are represented by eight squad players.

The fixtures offer players from clubs across Scotland the chance to join forces and compete on an international stage.

Melrose Head Coach, Rob Chrystie takes charge of the team and is joined by Glen Tippett, who will assist as Forwards Coach, with Heriot’s Head Coach, Phil Smith, remaining in the set-up as a selector.

Chrystie said: “It is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the Scottish Club XV side and I am looking forward to working alongside Glen and the best players from the club game.

There are some extremely talented players and the programme is excellent for exposing players to a higher level and creating a platform for them to progress their rugby careers.

“I am sure all the players selected will be extremely proud and excited to represent their country.

He added: “Phil Smith has done an excellent job over the last three years and we will be looking to build on this success, ensuring the team is as well prepared to be successful at this level.”

The medical staff will be led by Dr Andrew Macintosh with physios, Trina Hewitt and Lisa Erskine, also joining the team.

The Club XV will open their season with a training match against Scotland U20 on 23 January before playing away and home matches against Ireland on Friday 23 February and Friday 16 March respectively. They will play their home fixture against Ireland at Netherdale.

Scotland Club International XV Squad 2018

Backs

Charlie Shiel (Currie Chieftains)**, David Armstrong (Ayr), Murdo McAndrew (Melrose), Gregor Hunter (Gala), Jamie Forbes (Currie Chieftains), Craig Jackson (Melrose), George Taylor (Melrose)**, Robbie Nelson (Currie Chieftains),Rory Hutton (Watsonians), Ross Curle (Stirling County), Craig Gossman (Ayr), Fraser Thomson (Melrose), Jordan Edmonds (Boroughmuir), Robbie Nairn (Ayr)**, Scott Bickerstaff (Marr)

Forwards

Adam Nicol (Stirling County)**, Nick Fraser (Watsonians), Nick Beavon (Melrose), Sean Muir (Hawick), Steven Longwell (Ayr), Struan Cessford (Heriots), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Hawks)**, Ross Graham (Watsonians), Russell Anderson (Melrose), Blair Macpherson (Ayr), Jack Turley (Heriots), James Head (Melrose), Robert McAlpine (Ayr), George Stokes (Ayr), Grant Runciman (Melrose), Ian Moody (Melrose), Pete McCallum (Ayr), Neil Irvine Hess (Melrose), Rory Drummond (Watsonians), Thomas Gordon (Currie Chieftains)**

Not considered due to Scotland 7s Involvement

Harvey Elms (Currie Chieftains), Nyle Godsmark (Melrose), Ross McCann (Melrose)**, Sam Pecqueur (Melrose)

** BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 Player 2017/18

Scotland Club International XV matches 2018

Scotland Club XV v Scotland U20 training match, Oriam, Tuesday 23 January

Ireland Club XV v Scotland Club XV, Friday 23 February, venue and time TBC

Scotland Club XV v Ireland Club XV, Netherdale, Friday 16 March, 7.30pm