Round-up: Josh Strauss signs for Blue Bulls

Scotland Women 7s squad named, FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy fixtures released and Macron to extend kit supply deal

Josh Strauss has signed a three-year deal with the Blue bulls. Image: ©Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND and former Glasgow Warriors back-row Josh Strauss has been released from his Sale Sharks contract a year early allow him to take up a three-year deal with South African Super Rugby side the Bulls.

The 32-year-old has been capped 22 times by Scotland and is in Gregor Townsend’s current World Cup training squad after qualifying to wear the thistle through the the three-year residency rule. It has been reported that Glasgow Warriors had been in dialogue with his representatives about a move back to Scotstoun last month but did not offer him a contract. A couple of French sides have also expressed an interest, but he has ultimately decided to return to the country of his birth.

Women 7s

Meanwhile, Scott Forrest has made two changes to his Scotland Women 7s squad for this weekend’s second leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Having finished sixth in the first leg in Marcoussis last month, Scotland are currently the highest ranked non-World Series core nation. They must be be among the top three non-World Series core nation to get into the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifiers next year.

The squad is: Abi Evans (Hillhead Jordanhill), Megan Gaffney (Watsonians), Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning), Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)., Rachel McLachlan (Stirling County), Liz Musgrove (Hong Kong RFC), Helen Nelson (Montpellier), Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvios), Lana Skeldon (Watsonians), Hannah Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill), Meryl Smith (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park RFC).

Academy fixtures announced

The schedule for a series matches between FOSROC Scottish Rugby Regional Academies at Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 age-grade has been announced, starting this Sunday (21 July) in Aberdeen and culminating in a Finals Day in Galashiels on Sunday 11 August (all fixtures are free to attend).

Sunday 21 July – Kings Park, Aberdeen
Caledonia U20 v Glasgow & The West U20 (kick-off 12 noon)
Caledonia U18 v Glasgow & The West U18 (kick-off 1.30pm)
Caledonia U16 v Glasgow & The West U16 (kick-off 3pm)

Tuesday 23 July – Fairydean 3G, Galashiels
The Borders & East Lothian U20 v Edinburgh U20 (kick-off 4.30pm)
The Borders & East Lothian U18 v Edinburgh U18 (kick-off 6pm)
The Borders & East Lothian U16 v Edinburgh U16 (kick-off 7.30pm)

Sunday 28 July – Meggetland, Edinburgh
Edinburgh U18 v Glasgow & The West U18 (kick-off 12 noon)
Edinburgh U16 v Glasgow & The West U16 (kick-off 1.30pm)
Caledonia U18 v The Borders & East Lothian U18 (kick-off 3pm)
Caledonia U16 v The Borders & East Lothian U16 (kick-off 4.30pm)

Sunday 4 August – Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld
Glasgow & The West U18 v The Borders & EL U18 (kick-off 12 noon)
Glasgow & The West U16 v The Borders & EL U16 (kick-off 1.30pm)
Edinburgh U18 v Caledonia U18 (kick-off 3pm)
Edinburgh U16 v Caledonia U16 (kick-off 4.30pm)

Sunday 11 August – Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy Finals, Netherdale and Fairydean 3G,Galashiels
U18 3rd / 4th place play-off; Fairydean 3G (kick-off 12 noon)
U16 3rd / 4th place Play-off; Fairydean 3G (kick-off 1.45pm)
U20 1872 Cup – Edinburgh U20 v Glasgow Warriors U20; Netherdale main pitch (kick-off 2pm)
U18 Final; Netherdale main pitch (kick-off 4pm)
U16 Final; Netherdale main pitch (kick-off 6pm)

“These run of fixtures provide an excellent opportunity to develop some of our most talented players in a different environment, said Grant McKelvey, Performance Projects and Talent ID Manager. “As always, I’m sure the players will be desperate to represent their regions well through this period, with the added incentive of promoting themselves for selection into their academy or our national age-grade squads”

“We’re looking forward to a series of quality matches that showcase the quality of players coming through the Scottish system in the better weather conditions offered by the summer months.”

Scottish Rugby set to announce kit deal extension

Scottish Rugby are expected to announce an extension of their kit deal with Italian manufacturers Macron later today [Tuesday].


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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.