Crowds gather at Clydebank for Scotland open session
Members of the senior Scotland and U20 side held an open training session at Clydebank Community Sports Hub on Wednesday, in association with Scotch Beef.
The opportunity to see some of Scotland’s top players train was enjoyed by over 1,700 spectators who had travelled across the country and from the surrounding local community.
Scotland hooker, Stuart McInally, was another who enjoyed the day. He said: “It’s been really good fun. It’s great to see so many people come and support us for a training session.
“We train at BT Murrayfield and Oriam quite a lot so it’s nice to take our training around the country and it’s a great facility here at Clydebank, we’ve really enjoyed being here.
“For the players, it’s important that we thank all the people that have come along today to support us.
After training, all the players involved met the fans for a ‘selfie-session’ after former Scotland captain, Al Kellock conducted a Q&A with two young West of Scotland players, who had the opportunity to grill Scotland’s Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray and Tommy Seymour with some testing questions.
Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, addressed the supporters over the PA and summed-up the team’s sentiments.
He said: “What a great turn out, thank you so much for coming along. It’s really appreciated by us, the coaches, but especially the players.
“When we arrived today to see everybody queuing up, it was amazing.”
The facility itself, which is the largest 4G pitch in the UK, opened last November and hosted a wide-range of spectators, with clubs having representation from Dumbarton, Ayr, Dalziel and Lenzie, along with all the players from Clydebank providing support on the day.
Ross McCombe, Chair of Clydebank Community Sports Hub and Clydebank rugby club, said: “This project started seven years ago, as part of Clydebank rugby club‘s ambition to redevelop a pretty run-down facility.
“We managed to raise over £4 million pounds, with the help of sportscotland’s sports hub funding, and built up momentum. We opened it up back in November.
“This is the rugby club’s 50th year, so it has all come together that we have this brand-new facility and then the Scotland team asked to come along and do this open training day – we couldn’t have asked for a better year and the main part of that is we can try and make rugby a predominant sport.”
Remco Bakker, who is responsible for sponsorship and also a coach at Loch Lomond rugby club, had travelled to the session, adding: “We’ve brought quite a team along with us today, around 30 in total from primary 1-7. It great to see the players up close, but it’s also beneficial for them to see what they have to do from a training aspect to get to this level.
“We’ve got a few young players within the club that want to be professional so it’s great for them to watch. It’ll give them a huge boost in the long-term.
“It’s fantastic to see the players up close. You see the amount of effort and preparation to get them on the pitch. It’s great for the players to be here and mix with the fans and, being a lover of rugby, it just makes us very proud, to be honest.”