Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy roster announced
Scottish Rugby today confirmed the country’s leading young players to be recruited, retained and promoted into the top, full-time tier of the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy.
The academy aims to accelerate the development of the nation’s most promising young players at one of four regional centres (Aberdeen, Cumbernauld, Edinburgh and Galashiels), where they focus on high performance behaviours, rugby skills and athletic capacity.
This season saw 12 more players come through and sign senior professional contracts with Scotland 7s (2), Glasgow Warriors (4) and Edinburgh (6), meaning close to a third of this season’s senior club squads are made up of academy graduates since it was restructured three years ago, many of whom are playing regularly.
The promotion of players through the ranks has created space for this season’s intake, which sees 14 new faces join the top tier of the system – 12 promoted from the ‘supported’ stages and two new entrants.
Calum Atkinson (Boroughmuir)
Shaun Gunn (Edinburgh Accies)
Rory Darge (Melrose)
Roan Frostwick (Currie)
Jack Blain (Heriot’s)
Conor Boyle (Watsonians)
Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)
Findlay Scott (Jed Forest)
Ollie Smith (Ayr)
Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)
Logan Trotter (Stirling County)
Murphy Walker (Stirling County)
Rufus McLean (Watsonians)
Marshall Sykes (Ayr)
Also confirmed today are those selected for the earlier ‘supported’ stages (one and two) of the programme, with a second intake of around 30 players set to be announced after the regional age-grades series in August, to allow players to demonstrate their future potential and play their way into the programme.
Sean Lineen, Head of National Age-Grades and Academies, said: “The academies are producing players for our professional teams on a regular basis and have a major influence on our national age-grade teams.
“There’s some real quality in there, with players coming through strong club and school systems and better domestic competitions helping us to produce more well-rounded athletes, who have tremendous skills and are very ambitious.
“The programmes being produced for these players and the amount of support they get from the academies and sportscotland – who help us explore other avenues like psychology and nutrition – help create really professional environments with genuine accountability.
“We want it to be harder and harder to get into the academy. You want the players to deserve to be in there, to thrive and to understand that it’s not easy. It’s by coming through that adversity they can kick on.
It’s also really important that our academy players enjoy and shine in the opportunities they’re given and they’re really doing that now.
“The recent achievements of players like George Horne, Lewis Carmichael and Matt Fagerson [recent academy graduates capped for Scotland last month] show there’s a real pathway into the senior professional club and Test environment.”
The academy programme has also seen competitive growth this season, with the regional series of matches expanded to include U17 and U19 levels, ensuring representative rugby was available across all of the four regions from U16 to U20 for the first time.
This provided an opportunity for 564 players to be involved in a competitive programme that not only developed them as players but also allowed them to promote themselves for further honours at academy or age-grade level.
Below that, the regional, early talent-identification pathway sessions continued locally and gave more than 850 male and female U14, U15 and U16 players the opportunities to better understand the requirements of being a developing rugby player through on-field coaching and off-field education sessions.
Growing player quality and depth meant Scottish Rugby was able to broaden the base of international age-grade opportunities by adding a second Scotland U16 side in 2015/16, and a third two season's later, further intensifying competition for places for this year’s single Scotland U20 side.
Lineen, who added an overview of the academy system to his National Age-Grade remit in November, explained their alignment with the representative sides is becoming increasingly critical to Scotland successes at a younger level.
He added: “Several academy coaches are now also Head or Assistant Coaches with national age-grade teams, which allow them to go on the full journey with the players, day-to-day and in the age-grade team environment.
It’s there that they’re put under pressure as a unit against other quality sides. They can then take the feedback from those games back into their development in the academy.
“I think we have a real advantage there. Our age-grade sides are increasingly strong – our U18 side beat Ireland, England and France in the recent Festival, which is phenomenal, and a result of all these different groups linking together.”
FOSROC SCOTTISH RUGBY ACADEMY
2018/19 Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 (contracted):
Borders & East Lothian: Rory Darge (Melrose), Roan Frostwick (Currie), Fraser Renwick (Watsonians), Findlay Scott (Jed Forest).
Caledonia: Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), Logan Trotter (Stirling County), Murphy Walker (Stirling County).
Glasgow & the West: Kaleem Barreto (Glasgow Hawks), Stafford McDowell (Ayr), Euan McLaren (Ayr), Ollie Smith (Ayr), Robbie Smith (Ayr), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Hawks), Marhsall Sykes (Ayr), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks).
Edinburgh: Calum Atkinson (Boroughmuir), Jack Blain (Heriot’s), Conor Boyle (Watsonians), Robbie Davis (Edinburgh Accies), Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir), Duncan Ferguson (Watsonians), Shaun Gunn (Edinburgh Accies), Rufus McLean (Watsonians), George Spencer (Edinburgh Accies), Dan Winning (Boroughmuir).
Outside of Scotland: Hamish Bain (Stade Nicois), Cammy Hutchison (Stade Nicois)
2018/19 Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy-supported players:
Borders & East Lothian: Anna Forsyth (Watsonians), Lauren Harris (Melrose Ladies/Edinburgh University), Jacob Henry (Melrose), Scott King (Preston Lodge), Thomas Jeffrey (Jed-Forest), Matt Kindness (Kelso), Will Owen (Melrose), Lana Skeldon (Watsonians), Mak Wilson (Melrose).
Caledonia: Karen Dunbar (Corstorphine Cougars), Megan Kennedy (Stirling County), Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers).
Glasgow & The West: Scott Clelland (Ayr), Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr), Angus Fraser (Glasgow Hawks), Murray Godsman (Glasgow Hawks), Grant Hughes (Stirling County), Rory Jackson (Kelvinside Academy), Andrew Jardine (Melrose), Guy Kelly (Biggar), Luhann Kotze (Biggar), Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), Kyle Rowe (Ayr), Siobhan McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Gavin Wilson (Glasgow Hawks), Dan York (Glasgow Hawks).
Edinburgh: Sula Callander (Murrayfield Wanderers), Jamie Dobie (Merchiston Castle School), Dan Gamble (Merchiston Castle School), George Goodenough (Boroughmuir), Adam Hall (Currie Chieftains), Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians), Nicola Howatt (Edinburgh University), Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), Rachel Law (Edinburgh University), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lisa Thomson (DMP Sharks).
Academy players signed professional contracts this season:
Edinburgh (6): Jason Baggott, Luke Crosbie, Archie Erskine, Cameron Fenton, Charlie Shiel and George Taylor.
Glasgow Warriors (4): Matt Fagerson, Bruce Flockhart, Robbie Nairn and Adam Nicol.
Scotland 7s (2): Josh Henderson and Ross McCann.
Academy graduates in 2018/19 Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby squads from the past three seasons:
Edinburgh (11): Jason Baggot, Magnus Bradbury, Lewis Carmichael, Luke Crosbie, Chris Dean, Cameron Fenton, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, Callum Hunter-Hill, Murray McCallum, Charlie Shiel, George Taylor.
Glasgow Warriors (16): Robert Beattie, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Bruce Flockhart, Nick Grigg, George Horne, Thomas Gordon, Patrick Kelly, James Malcolm, Robbie Nairn, Adam Nicol, Ali Price, D’Arcy Rae, Matt Smith, Lewis Wynne.
Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy graduates capped in the 2017/18 season:
Jamie Bhatti, Lewis Carmichael, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn, Murray McCallum.