Scottish Rugby’s performance partnership with Stade Nicois will continue this season, with four players playing at club for the upcoming 2019/2020 campaign.
The side will continue to play this season in national Federale 1 league – the third tier of French professional rugby.
Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy strength and conditioning coach, Chris Leck, has been seconded to the club where he will join as Head of Strength and Conditioning. The former Edinburgh scrum-half will look to further develop his coaching career by leading the programme, focussing on the development of both the Scottish players and Stade Nicois as a club.
On the playing side, the new group heading to France for this season includes Scotland 7s and former Fosroc stage three player Kaleem Barreto, who has previously worked alongside Leck during his time in the Scotland U20 squad.
Fellow former Fosroc Academy player and Boroughmuir prop, Ross Dunbar, who featured in the Scotland U20 squad that secured its highest ever finish of 5th in the 2017 Junior World Championships, will also join the club.
Lock Hamish Bain and back-row Archie Erskine complete the group playing in France, as they remain with the club for a second season.
Scottish Rugby’s Technical Director, Stephen Gemmell, said: “Our performance partnership with Stade Nicois supports the development of our players on and off the field with them having to establish themselves in a completely different rugby environment and culture to what they are used to.
“The nature of the game in France provides a real challenge for our players and it is great that we are able to provide this opportunity for the four players for the forthcoming season.
“It is also exciting to be able to second Chris to the club to not only support his continued professional development but to also help the club and our players to achieve their aspirations moving forward.”
Barreto said: “We’ve seen a couple of players return from Stade Nicois and have gone on to have success with their professional clubs so I’ve had a bit of an insight as to the challenges and what to expect in Nice.
“I’ll be putting a lot of onus on my skills development. In French rugby, there is a great reliance on the scrum-half and game management so I’ll be looking to developing my decision-making skills.
“I’m excited for the challenge ahead.”