Getting to know - Macphail scholarship recipients
The recipients of the life changing Macphail Scholarship were announced today by Scottish Rugby.
Mikey Heron, Adam Scott and Cole Lamberton (all 18) will embark on their 15-week adventure in South Africa, where they will train with top coaches and other players from around the world.
We caught up with the three lucky guys to get to know them and their thoughts about this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Adam Scott – GHA
Adam played at Helensburgh for seven years before moving to St Aloysius’ College for three to pursue his Scottish Cup aspirations and play at a higher level.
During his time at St Als’ he played for the U16 team, which won the Scottish Cup that year, before captaining the U18 side to the final.
Scott moved to GHA to progress into senior rugby, where he currently plays.
Looking ahead to his South African sojourn, he said: “Straight away I was excited. I knew it was an opportunity I wanted to get.
“It had been in my goals as a faraway thing that could happen, so it was a relief to get the opportunity and there was a lot of excitement.
“I straight away after training went home and talked to my parents about it who agreed that I should do it and it’s been a build of excitement since.”
The John Macphail Rugby Scholarship has been received by a number of players who have gone on to great things in a Scotland but Scott insists he’s using this opportunity to develop his own skills and gain experience rather than try to emulate another.
“I’ve seen the names and I’m absolutely over the moon to be involved at that standard of group. It’s a massive honour to be selected but I’ll take the opportunity as it comes, enjoy the moment and see where I’ll go from there.”
Mikey Heron (18) – Stirling Wolves
Centre / full-back Mikey Heron started his rugby career in P3 at Strathendrick before playing in the U15 team for West of Scotland.
Heron earned selection for the Caledonia U18 side which won the regional championships before moving to Glasgow Warriors U18. A year later Heron joined his current club Stirling Wolves and is supported by Caledonia Academy.
Despite the huge opportunity in the offing, Heron, confessed a to degree of anxiety about taking the leap.
“I’m the type of person who doesn’t like going out of their comfort zone.” he said.
“I wanted to say no but I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I knew I had to say yes.
Heron said he is “excited” to get out to South Africa and adapt to the culture. He knows he will learn a lot from others which will help him “become a better person” and “mature”.
He added: “It’s the perfect stepping stone to hopefully becoming a pro, which is my dream. It will be a huge boost.”
Cole Lamberton – Edinburgh Accies
Front-row Cole Lamberton is relatively new the sport, taking up the game two years ago aged 16, so it speaks volumes of his character and potential that he finds himself among those selected.
Lamberton attended The Royal High School where he played at regional level in the U17, U18 and U20 teams. He then represented Scotland U18, earned support from the FOSROC Academy in Edinburgh and joined Edinburgh Accies.
He said: “It’s a massive honour to be offered the opportunity as I’m not very experienced in rugby.
“I get more nervous the more I read about all of the people who have done it before but I know I couldn’t miss out.
“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done. It’s the closest thing to being a pro player”.
John Macphail Rugby Scholarship Recipients:
2019: Mikey Heron, Adam Scott, Cole Lamberton
2018: Thomas Jeffrey, Jacob Henry, Kristian Kray
2017: Angus Fraser, Andrew Jardine, Guy Kelly
2016: Patrick Kelly, Ross McCann, Mike Blair (coach), Calum Forrester (coach)
2015: Callum Hunter-Hill, Ben Robbins, Ben Cairns (coach), Duncan Hodge (coach)
2014: Adam Ashe, Ewan McQuillin, Don Caskie (coach), Kenny Murray (coach)
2013: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Finn Russell, Shade Munro (Coach), Alex Duncan (coach)
2012: Jonny Gray, Gregor Hunter, Chris Paterson (coach), Ben Fisher (coach)
2011: Grant Gilchrist, Harry Leonard, George Turner and Ian Monaghan (coach)
2010: Finlay Gillies
2009: Lewis Niven
2008: Roddy Grant
2007: Kevin Bryce
2006: Graham Hogg
2005: John Barclay