Top young Scots to sweat Spanish conditioning camp

A 22-man Scotland age-grade squad was today selected for a two-week residential rugby development camp in Valladolid, Spain, this July.

The camp, which will focus on core rugby skills, speed and technical weight lifts, is the culmination of the under-17 regional pathway programme and will aid many players’ transition to the U18 international set-up.

Regional academy coach Chris Dewsnap has led the U17 programme and selected the squad alongside Scotland age-grade coaches Gary Mercer (U16) and Eddie Pollock (U18), in anticipation of the majority of the group coming under Pollock’s guidance at the end of the camp.

Dewsnap said: “As with the U16 & U18 age groups, there has been a regional programme at under-17 within the four regions [Borders, Caledonia, Edinburgh, Glasgow] who went on to play each other in two rounds of regional matches, from which we selected an extended group of players for a national under-17 trial and then, from that, this group for Valladolid.

“The camp gives us a great opportunity to work with the players in an intense environment. There’s a fair bit of skill development work while they’re away but there are also periods of strength and conditioning and rugby-based, team prep.

“Skill development comes through repetition and this two-week period allows us continuously to revisit individual skills and techniques, and assess which players are capable of progressing quickly.

Scotland under-18 head coach, Eddie Pollock, added: "This is a full-time, professional camp in fantastic conditions, in top-class facilities. It's a real eye opener for the players to see what it takes to make the next step towards being a high-performance athlete.

We address everything from their training to their nutrition; we thoroughly test each individual and compare them to the previous year group, so the players can see the benchmark for competing at the next level.

“Over the last few years many players have used this camp to push on to the under-18, under-20 and professional rugby.

“It’s a fantastic learning experience for a young player.”

Scotland under-17 squad, national development camp:

Lyall Archer (Highland)*, Harry Borthwick (Berwick), Calum Eastwood (George Watson’s College), Matthew Emmison (Aberdeen Grammar/ Ellon), Bruce Flockhart (Highland), Darcy Graham (Hawick HS/Hawick Wanderers), Jonathan Goldring (Holyrood HS/Boroughmuir), Ali Greig (Stewart’s Melville College), Ronan Kerr (George Watson’s College), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Academy), Gregor Haldane (Dollar Academy), Calum Hunter-Hill (Stewart’s Melville College), Saul Melvin-Farr (Edinburgh Academy)*, Zach Mercer (Merchiston Castle School/GHA)*, Robbie Nairn (George Watson’s College/Currie)*, Adam Nicol (Queen Anne HS/Dunfermline), Craig Pringle (Loretto School/Melrose), Fraser Renwick (Hawick HS/Hawick Wanderers), Charlie Shiel (Royal High School/RHC), Andrew Simmers (Glasgow Academy/Glasgow Hawks), Jack Solman (Sedbergh School), Jamie Ure (Sackville School).