THE names of 29 of the 30 players who will be constitute the Stage 3 cohort of the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy next season have been announced. The youngsters will work more closely with the nation’s two pro teams than ever before as part of a strategy aimed at helping their development and allowing the pro coaches an opportunity to better assess the most talented players coming through the ranks.
Whilst being based in the pro team environment, the players will continue to receive specific Academy support through dedicated age-grade specialist coaches, S&C tuition and physio support, who will have responsibility to ensure the continued development of these players.
The players will continue to play principally for their designated Super6 team, although their closer links and time with Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh will make them more readily available for pro team selection and also improve the squad depth of the country’s two full-time teams.
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The theory is that the closer alignment of the Stage 3 players from the Academy to the pro teams creates opportunity moving forward in the national FOSROC Academy to bring in more supported Stage 2 players, who will continue to be selected to one of the four regional Academy hubs in the Glasgow & the West, Edinburgh, Borders & East Lothian and Caledonia.
“I think this is a logical and important step to take to further the development of our most talented young players,” said Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance.
“Spending more hands-on time in the pro team environment benefits both the younger player who is effectively learning on the job on a day to day basis and also the pro team which can more closely monitor player development and deepen their squads with home-grown players. This will also allow our next generation of players to be mentored by and learn from our top professional players.
“As we hopefully move into a post-Covid-19 season the reality is we will need to be more self-sufficient in developing our own players locally and ensure they can step up at the right time into the professional ranks. The FOSROC Academy has now got to the point where it can successfully produce players and we need to give them a clear pathway to further their careers and I think this is the right way to go.”
The 30 players aligned to Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby for the 2020/21 season are:
CONTRACTED FOSROC ACADEMY PLAYERS 2020-21*–
Glasgow Warriors (14 players + 1 still tbc):
- Thomas Lambert – Sydney University
- Angus Fraser – Stirling County
- Murphy Walker – Stirling County
- Max Williamson – Dollar Academy
- Alex Samuel – Stirling County
- Gregor Brown – Boroughmuir Bears
- Rory Jackson – Ayrshire Bulls
- Ross Thompson – Ayrshire Bulls
- Euan Cunningham – Stirling County
- Robbie MacCallum – Boroughmuir Bears
- Michael Gray – Dollar Academy
- Finlay Callaghan – GHK (injured last season, previously at GHK)
- Ollie Melville – Sale Sharks
- Ollie Smith – Ayrshire Bulls
Edinburgh (15 players):
- Shaun Gunn – Southern Knights
- Dan Gamble – Heriots Rugby
- Cole Lamberton – Edinburgh Accies
- Charlie Jupp – Heriots Rugby
- Jack Mann – Heriots Rugby
- Ben Muncaster – Rugby School/Leicester Tigers
- Cameron Scott – Boroughmuir Bears
- Scott King – Heriots Rugby
- Matt Currie – Watsonians Rugby
- Harry Paterson – Heriots Rugby
- Nathan Chamberlain – Hartpury College/Bristol Bears
- Roan Frostwick – Watsonian’s Rugby
- Nathan Sweeney – Southern Knights
- Jacob Henry – Southern Knights
- Patrick Harrison – Peebles
*Listed alongside club/school at times of signing.
Good looking group of players. A wee bit surprised not to see hooker Duncan Hood, who played for Heriots in Super 6 while still at school at stew mel last season. Also thought Christian Townsend from the same stew mel school team might make it. Other than that, excellent group. The one place remaining presumably is either an incentive for a stage 2 player to grasp, a delay due to need to prove fitness, or a contract delay for someone coming from outwith Scotland.