Scotland U16 prepare for Rugby Festival

Scotland U16 added the finishing touches in their final training camp at the weekend ahead of the Colwyn Bay Rugby Festival which runs from April 6 to 12 in North Wales.

The six-day festival will take place at Parc Eirias, where the young Scots face Welsh sides Dragons, Scarlets and RGC.

Scotland U16 is an important stage in the development of young, aspiring players, with the selected 50 being split into two teams – the Reds and the Blues.

Since the new year, the players have been involved in two training days and three training camps in preparation for the festival, following regional fixtures and two East v West games.

An extra weekend training camp was added to this year’s programme to give the coaches more contact time with the players and for the squad to play internal matches against Scottish Exiles and Newcastle Falcons.

Byran Easson, Head Coach of the Reds, said: “This additional weekend allowed the coaches and management to get to know the players better and for both teams to play an internal match.

“It also meant the players had more time to train with their new team mates.”

Easson emphasised the importance of these camps as an opportunity to take the players away from their routine and comfort zone and place them in a competitive and high-performance environment.

“These camps show the boys what is required of them at the next level,” he added.

They receive nutritional support, strength and conditioning training, and are taught about anti-drugs and anti-doping.”

Looking ahead to their trip to Wales, Easson added that winning isn’t necessarily their goal. Instead the coaches want to see whether the players have taken on board the information they’ve been given, from a training and nutrition perspective.

Players will be assessed throughout the entire six-day festival, with their efforts at every training day and camp factored in to their final player report.

Steve Lawrie, Head Coach of the Blues, said: “We take into account all their hard work over the last few months. The boys know this is a great privilege and always give 100%.

These camps are a huge positive for youth rugby in Scotland as it gives players a glimpse of the high-performance nature of rugby and provides something to aim for.”

After this festival, 20 to 25 players will be selected to attend a two-week training camp in Valladolid in Spain over the summer.