Scotland have added seventeen players to their full time top tier of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy (Stage 3).
The three tiered system sees players supported on a part-time basis in the first two stages, before the elite join the stage 3 full time programme.
Nine players are promoted from stage two to stage three, of which Hamish Bain, Ross Dunbar, Fraser Renwick, Robbie Smith, and Josh Henderson will be in action for Scotland in the World Rugby U20 Championships at the end of the month. Also promoted are Kaleem Barreto, Euan McLaren, Gary Munro, and Jamie Ure.
A further eight players join from outside of the current system, including Sam Yayayawa the former England U18 international from Leicester Tigers. Four of the new players will be representing the U20s in Georgia, Archie Erskine, Adam Nicol, Stafford McDowell, and Robbie Nairn, with Hamilton Burr, Grant Stewart, and George Stokes also joining the system.
Speaking to www.scottishrugby.org Stephen Gemmell, the Head of Academy and Performance programmes, said:
“It’s great to see so many of our talented young players be rewarded with professional contracts in Scotland and graduate from our BT Sport Academy system. The latest intake of players demonstrates our continued investment in the next generation, an increased input from the pro teams in their selection and our commitment to future-proof our game in Scotland.”
“The opportunities and impact that our top end players are having in professional matches, demonstrates how well the academies, alongside their club and school programmes, are preparing players for the demands of the modern game.”
“It’s vital that the system is able to produce individuals capable of playing professional rugby during the season to support our professional clubs during their Guinness PRO12 and European commitments.”
2017/18 BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy stage three (full-time) players:
The Borders & East Lothian:
Gary Munro (Jed Forest)*, Fraser Renwick (Hawick)*
Hamish Bain (Currie)*, Jason Baggott (Melrose), Luke Crosbie (Currie), Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir)*, Archie Erskine (Boroughmuir), Cameron Hutchison (Currie), Thomas Gordon (Currie), Ross McCann (Melrose), Charlie Shiel (Currie), George Taylor (Melrose), Jamie Ure (Boroughmuir)*, Dan Winning (Boroughmuir).
Glasgow & West:
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), Bruce Flockhart (Glasgow Hawks), Josh Henderson (Glasgow Hawks)*, Jade Konkel (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Stafford McDowell (Ayr), Robbie Nairn (Ayr), Adam Nicol (Stirling County), Robbie Smith (Ayr)*, Grant Stewart (Glagsow Hawks), George Stokes (Toulon), Sam Yawayawa (Leicester Tigers).
Kaleem Barreto (Glenalmond College)*, Hamilton Burr (Stirling County), Euan McLaren (Dollar Academy)*.
Italics, New Addition