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SRU to unveil senior academy

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The Scottish Rugby Union will enrol 28 club players in a national senior academy designed to fast-track them into the professional game.

Murrayfield will be the base for the academy, and players will be approached before the end of May as the SRU put in place their plans for a scheme which will begin next season.

Only club players of outstanding potential will be given the call by the SRU, who consider the academy system the ideal way of handing Scotland’s emerging players an experience of full-time rugby.

The academy recruits will be available to Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors, as well as their club sides, and also be free to represent Scotland in the IRB Sevens World Series.

SRU head of player development Henry Edwards said: “In assessing our national academy requirement for next season the simple question we asked ourselves was, ‘What will work best for the players?’

“We want to give them every opportunity to train full-time in a professional rugby environment and we believe this is the best current option.

“There’s total flexibility built into these plans, offering each player the right individual development opportunities, with a player’s best interests always the deciding factor.”

Having closed down the Border Reivers as a cost-cutting measure, the SRU say they are looking at establishing an academy dedicated to the Borders region.

Edwards said: “This will be an interesting project and we recognise the need to give it careful consideration, following the closure of the Border Reivers pro team.

“Although establishing something in time for next season simply was not possible, as the new academy season starts next month, we are keen to engage with the various potential funding partners we will be inviting to join the working party.

“It’s hoped some worthwhile proposals can be put on the table, to complement the existing junior academy in the Borders. It’s a concept we are open to discuss in other regions too.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors have completed the signing of Kelly Brown from Borders for next season.

The 24-year-old back-row forward will be looking to add to his five Scotland Test caps and said: “I know a lot of the Warriors players through Scotland duty and with their recent results they had a great end to the season.

“With the squad that we’ll have next year, I’m sure we’ll be challenging for honours in the Magners League.”

Warriors coach Sean Lineen also confirmed stand-off Mike Adamson and utility back Max Evans will be staying with the pro team.

Lineen believes both men can make a significant contribution next season, despite the flurry of new arrivals due to arrive over the summer.

“Kelly is another quality player joining us for next season. He has really improved as a player over the past few years and I’m looking for him to lead by example on the field and bring out the best in our young back row,” Linen said.

“Mike is a skilful player, even though he’s not the biggest on the park. He’s got a huge heart and we’ll bulk him up over the summer and then unleash him.

“There will be great competition between him and Colin Gregor for stand-off, while Dan Parks is away at the World Cup.”

 

365 Digital

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