​Scottish U20 Futures Programme | Developing players for International representation

​Scottish U20 Futures Programme | Developing players for International representation

The Scottish Futures U20 Programme is the second tier of the age grade girls programme at Scottish Rugby.

It is a continuation of the U18 Programme in which it has the main aims to be a performance development programme with a focus on the tactical decision making, technical skill underpinning performance, physical attributes and characteristics that are needed to succeed in a high-performance rugby environment.

Within the U20 Programme, players attended a number of camps throughout the year, culminating in a training game with the British Army. This provided an excellent opportunity for players to demonstrate their development that they have made throughout the season

A few weeks later, they also had the opportunity to travel to Darlington Mowden Park (DMP) for a training match. These training sessions didn’t just provide opportunities for players to showcase their improvements, they also created a chance for coaches to see what level players were in terms of their rugby development against opposition from outside Scotland.

The work that the players have been putting in this season is in a hope for the players to be selected in the Scotland Women Performance Group at some point. This has already proved successful with several Scottish Futures players having had the opportunity to step up and be part of the Scotland Women squad this season.

Anne Young with Scotland Women in South Africa 

Anne Young, 20, joined the Scottish Futures Programme on its launch in 2018. She has been a part of both the U18 and the U20 programme. In September 2019 she was selected to be part of the Scotland Women squad that travelled to South Africa for their first ever tour.

Talking about her experience, she said: “The futures programme has been an integral part of preparing me for being away with Scotland Women. The values and standards held by the futures programme mimic those of the senior squad so has really prepared me for the transition.”

The training weekends that she has been involved in with the Scottish Futures Programme has really helped cement these skillsets and help with further opportunities. She said: “The recent training weekends with Scottish Futures against the Army and DMP have been great experiences for the whole group and have really demonstrated how far the programme has come.

“I think it shows how well players are developing and hopefully how many more can make the step to the senior squad.”

Rachel Law with Scotland Women in the 2020 Women's Six Nations 

Rachel Law, 20, has also been part of the Scottish Futures Programme since its inception. She has had the opportunity to be part of the match day squad for this year’s Women’s Six Nations Championships.

She said on the programme: “The skills, conditioning, understanding and speed of the game was much more developed in the seniors than in the futures. With that being said, there were a lot of similarities in both programs which eased the transition process for me.

“The overall aim of the futures programme is to create an environment for young players to drive their own development, encouraging them to identify areas they need to work on and facilitating their progress as much as possible."

​It instilled the importance of high-performance values and helped me develop some the skills and attitudes needed to keep improving each day. Rachel Law

“The senior squad is much the same, everyone is striving to better themselves individually and as a collective, and I’m using some of the tools I’ve learnt to continue this development.

The Scottish Futures also allowed me to get familiar with the camp environment, something that can be rather challenging and daunting as a new member of the squad. Getting used to the way things ran and the professionalism that comes with it, was something that helped me fit into the senior camp life.”

Scottish Rugby is looking to continuously evolve these programmes, in order to best provide players with opportunities that will maximise their performance development and reach their goals of representing Scotland.

  • Scottish Futures players for 2019/2020
    Elliann ClarkeEdinburgh University

    Eva Donaldson

    Edinburgh University

    Issy Drexler

    Watsonians RFC

    Neve Finlay

    Ayr RFC

    Evie Gallagher

    Edinburgh University

    Lily Glendinning

    Annan RFC

    Nicola Howat

    Edinburgh University

    Aimee Johnstone

    Hillhead Jordanhill RFC

    Ciara McCulloch

    Edinburgh University

    Emma Turner

    Corstorphine Cougars

    Nikki Simpson

    Cartha QP RFC

    Eve Thomson

    Hillhead Jordanhill RFC

    Niamh Woods

    Stirling County RFC

    Anne Young

    Edinburgh University

    Nikki Chalk

    Garioch RFC

    Anya Foxworthy Bowers

    Stirling County RFC

    Katie McLaren

    Stirling County RFC

    Evie Wills

    Stirling County RFC

    Shona Campbell

    Montrose RFC

    Meryl Smith

    Edinburgh University

    Grace Stocks

    Loughborough Town

    Elliann ClarkeEdinburgh University

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