ROB CHRYSTIE has named a 35-man training squad for this season’s Scotland Club XV, made up of players from all ten BT Premiership teams plus Gala stand-off George Hunter from National League One. The team will play a training match against Scotland Under-20 at Oriam on 23rd January, and then two games against Ireland on 23rd February [at a venue in Ireland to be confirmed] and Netherdale on 16th March.
Chrystie has selected ten players from his own club Melrose, who are runaway leaders at the top of the BT Premiership.
“There are some extremely talented players and the programme is excellent for exposing players to a higher level and creating a platform for them to progress their rugby careers,” said the coach, who has taken over the Club XV role from Phil Smith.
He will be assisted by Ayr forwards coach Glen Tippett, while Smith is staying on in the set-up as a selector.
“It is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the Scottish Club XV side and I am looking forward to working alongside Glen and the best players from the club game,” added Chrystie.
“Phil Smith has done an excellent job over the last three years and we will be looking to build on this success, ensuring the team is as well prepared to be successful at this level.”
Scotland Club International XV Squad 2018
Charlie Shiel (Currie Chieftains)**, David Armstrong (Ayr), Murdo McAndrew (Melrose), Gregor Hunter (Gala), Jamie Forbes (Currie Chieftains), Craig Jackson (Melrose), George Taylor (Melrose)**, Robbie Nelson (Currie Chieftains), Rory Hutton (Watsonians), Ross Curle (Stirling County), Craig Gossman (Ayr), Fraser Thomson (Melrose), Jordan Edmonds (Boroughmuir), Robbie Nairn (Ayr)**, Scott Bickerstaff (Marr)
Adam Nicol (Stirling County)**, Nick Fraser (Watsonians), Nick Beavon (Melrose), Sean Muir (Hawick), Steven Longwell (Ayr), Struan Cessford (Heriots), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Hawks)**, Ross Graham (Watsonians), Russell Anderson (Melrose), Blair Macpherson (Ayr), Jack Turley (Heriots), James Head (Melrose), Robert McAlpine (Ayr), George Stokes (Ayr), Grant Runciman (Melrose), Ian Moody (Melrose), Pete McCallum (Ayr), Neil Irvine Hess (Melrose), Rory Drummond (Watsonians), Thomas Gordon (Currie Chieftains)**
** BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 Player 2017/18
Not considered due to Scotland 7s Involvement –
Harvey Elms (Currie Chieftains), Nyle Godsmark (Melrose), Ross McCann (Melrose)**, Sam Pecqueur (Melrose)
Scotland Club International XV matches 2018 –
Scotland Club XV v Scotland U20 training match, Oriam, Tuesday 23 January
Ireland Club XV v Scotland Club XV, Friday 23 February, venue and time TBC
Scotland Club XV v Ireland Club XV, Netherdale, Friday 16 March, 7.30pm