Scottish Rugby today confirmed a 97-strong BT Sport Academy roster of the country’s most promising young rugby players for the 2017/18 season.
The players named today complete the academy structure that operates across four regional centres around the country and follows the BT Sport Regional Championship in the summer that allowed players to demonstrate their future potential and play their way into the programme.
Two additions have been made to the top tier of the set-up announced in May and sees Scotland Women scrum-half Sarah Law become the fourth Scottish female rugby player to become a full-time professional.
She follows in the footsteps of fellow internationalists and academy players Jade Konkel, Chloe Rollie and Lisa Thomson, who recently joined French side LMRCV as part of a performance partnership between the academy and the French Top 8 runners-up. Sarah Law will ply her trade for Murrayfield Wanderers and Edinburgh University. Glasgow Hawks’ Dan York is the other full-time addition.
There are 20 new faces in the supported stages of the programme (tiers one and two) who are provided with additional support alongside their existing club or school programmes, on top of the regional early talent identification camps for U14, U15 and U16 male and female players.
Scottish Rugby Head of Academy and Performance Programmes, Stephen Gemmell, said: “We’re pleased to confirm the 2017/18 BT Sport Academy players, who backed up their evidence-supported club and school nominations with quality performances in the regional series.
“Academy selection is considered within a national context and ultimately it’s about who we think can follow in the footsteps of the 20 players who have graduated from the academy into the senior professional ranks in the past two years and can continue to impact the game at all levels.
“The inclusion of 19-year-old Matt Fagerson in the recent Scotland camp and the selection of 13 Scottish players aged 23 and under – six of whom are aged 20 or under – for Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors in the opening rounds of the Guinness PRO14 is testimony to the improvements currently being made.
“The challenge is to make sure that continues while ensuring we take advantage of the progress of the domestic club and school game by innovating and finding solutions to producing the players of tomorrow.”
2017/18 BT SPORT ACADEMY
BORDERS & EAST LOTHIAN
Stage three (full-time) players: Gary Munro (Hawick), Fraser Renwick (Hawick)
Academy-supported players: Patrick Anderson (Melrose), Thomas Brown (Melrose), Kyle Brunton (Hawick), Rory Darge (Melrose), Anna Forsyth (Watsonians), Roan Frostwick (North Berwick HS / RFC), Thomas Jeffrey (Peebles)*, Lauren Harris (Melrose Ladies/Edinburgh University), Matthew Kindness (Kelso)*, Scott King (Preston Lodge HS/RFC)*, Robbie McCallum (Loretto School), William Owen (Melrose)*, Finlay Scott (Jed Forest), Lana Skeldon (Watsonians)*, Gemma Stoddart (Watsonians)*, Mak Wilson (Duns)*.
Academy-supported players: Karen Dunbar (RHC Cougars), Angus Fraser (Dundee HSFP), Cameron Henderson (Strathallan School), Jacob Henry (Highland/Dingwall Academy)*, Megan Kennedy (Stirling County), Lucy Park (RHC Cougars), Ollie Smith (Strathallan School)*, Logan Trotter (Stirling County), Murphy Walker (Strathallan School)*, Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers).
Stage three (full-time) players: Jason Baggott (Melrose), Hamish Bain (Currie), Luke Crosbie (Currie), Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir), Archie Erskine (Boroughmuir), Duncan Ferguson (Currie), Thomas Gordon (Currie), Cameron Hutchison (Currie), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University), Ross McCann (Melrose), Charlie Shiel (Currie), George Taylor (Melrose), Jamie Ure (Boroughmuir), Dan Winning (Boroughmuir).
Academy-supported players: Callum Atkinson (Boroughmuir), Jack Blain (Stewart’s Melville College)*, Connor Boyle (Stewart’s Melville College)*, Jamie Dobie (Merchiston Castle School)*, Dan Gamble (Merchiston Castle School)*, George Goodenough (Edinburgh University), Shaun Gunn (Edinburgh Accies), Adam Hall (Melrose), Finn Hobbis (Watsonians), Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians), Nicola Howat (Edinburgh University), Charlie Jupp (unattached), Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University), Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers), Andrew McLean (Stirling County), James Miller (Watsonians), Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Dean Roger (Edinburgh Accies), Eilidh Sinclair (Murrayfield Wanderers).
GLASGOW & THE WEST
Stage three (full-time) players: Kaleem Barreto (Marr), Hamilton Burr (Stirling County), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), Stafford McDowell (Ayr), Euan McLaren (Ayr), Robbie Nairn (Ayr), Adam Nicol (Stirling County), Robbie Smith (Ayr), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Hawks), George Stokes (Ayr), Sam Yawayawa (Glasgow Hawks), Dan York (Glasgow Hawks).
Academy-supported players: Scott Bell (Glasgow Hawks/Kelvinside Academy), Paul Cairncross (Glasgow Hawks), Scott Clelland (Prestwick Academy/Ayr)*, Paddy Dewhurst (Ayr)*, Murray Godsman (High School of Glasgow/Glasgow Hawks)*, Grant Hughes (Stirling County), Ross Jackson (Marr), Rory Jackson (Kelvinside Academy)*, Andrew Jardine (Melrose), Guy Kelly (Biggar), Luhann Kotze (Biggar HS/RFC)*, Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Andrew Nimmo (Biggar), Craig Pringle (Stirling County), Kirsty Reid (Hillhead Jordanhill), Bruce Sorbie (Stirling County), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)*, Gavin Wilson (Dumfries Saints).
BT Sport Academy players outside of Scotland: Bruce Flockart (Stade Nicois/Glasgow & West Academy), Josh Henderson (Stade Nicois/Glasgow & West Academy), Jade Konkel (Lille/Glasgow & West Academy), Chloe Rollie (Lille/Academy in Edinburgh), Lisa Thomson (Lille/Academy in Edinburgh).
* Denotes new addition to the BT Sport Academy
Players aged 23 and under to feature in the opening rounds of the Guinness PRO14: Magnus Bradbury (22, Edinburgh Rugby), Scott Cummings (20, Glasgow Warriors), Chris Dean (23, Edinburgh Rugby), Matt Fagerson (19, Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (21, Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (20, Glasgow Warriors), Damien Hoyland (23, Edinburgh Rugby), Blair Kinghorn (20, Edinburgh Rugby), James Malcolm (22, Glasgow Warriors), Adam Nicol (20, Glasgow Warriors), D’Arcy Rae (22, Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Ritchie (21, Edinburgh Rugby), Matt Smith (20, Glasgow Warriors).