Scottish Women age-grade programmes appoint coaching teams

Scottish Futures U20 and U18 age-grade programmes and Scotland Women U18 7s have appointed experienced coaching staff for the coming season.

The recently announced Scottish Futures Women’s Programmes will introduce new training and playing opportunities from August of this year and are aimed at developing talented female age-grade players with the potential to play for Scotland Women in the future.

Chris Reid takes charge of the Scottish Futures U20 team and Rudi Urbach will lead the U18 programme.

Reid is a former Assistant Coach for Scotland Women and Scotland Women 7s and has a wealth of coaching experience working across the domestic men’s and women’s game.

He said: “I have been involved in coaching Women and Girls rugby for the last 15 years and the difference in the last five years in the playing numbers, game understanding, skill set, and athleticism is huge.

I am excited about what the future holds for young players and the opportunities that are available in the Scottish Futures programme.”

Urbach is Academy Manager and Head Coach with Tennent’s National League Division 2 side Dumfries Saints who he led to the inaugural National League Cup title, beating higher-league opposition, Kelso, in the final.

He said: “The Scottish Futures programme is a fantastic initiative and couldn’t be launched at a more exciting time for the women’s game in Scotland.

Women’s rugby is seeing unprecedented growth and it is both an honour and privilege to be able to work with Scottish Rugby to develop the next generation of Scotland Women’s internationalists.”

Assistant Coaches for the U20 programme will be former Hillhead Jordanhill Women Head Coach, Thomas Davidson, and former Head Coach of Perth Rugby, Rory McKay.

Edinburgh University Women’s Coach, Gordon Lyon,and Edinburgh University Women’s 2ndXV Head Coach and Scotland Women former internationalist, Louise Dalgliesh, will join the U18 programme as Assistant Coaches.

Graeme Blackhall takes charge of Scotland Women U18 7s this summer and brings experience coaching in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy as well as with the senior women’s and men’s teams at Hillhead Jordanhill.

Claire Cruickshank, Head of Performance Sport and Head of Performance Rugby (Ladies) at Edinburgh University and former Scotland Women internationalist, has been named Kick Development Coach for both Scottish Futures teams.

Here role will work alongside the age-grade coaches to focus on and develop technical and tactical kicking for identified Scottish Futures players.

The new coaches will be responsible for preparing age-grade players for the transition to senior international rugby, maintaining high standards of technical, tactical and physical performance for their teams.

The appointments are the result of a highly competitive process that resulted in a large number of high-calibre applications from coaches in the women’s and men’s games.

Scottish Rugby Head of Women & Girls Rugby, Gemma Fay said: “We are delighted to be welcoming these coaches as part of the Scottish Futures and Scotland Women U18 7s programmes.

Women and girl’s rugby in Scotland is growing and they will play a key part in developing the talented players coming through our pathways.”

Both the U18 and U20 programmes include training camps, skills sessions and training matches and Scottish Futures players will benefit from S&C, medical, nutritional, analysis and lifestyle support.

Players and athletes can be nominated by their coach, teacher or can nominate themselves for both Scottish Futures programmes.Nominations are now open until Friday 20 July for women and girls aged between 15 ½ and 19 years old:

Scottish Futures U20 coaching team

  • Chris Reid (Head Coach) 
  • Thomas Davidson (Assistant Coach) 
  • Rory McKay (Assistant Coach) 

Scottish Futures U18 coaching team:

  • Rudi Urbach (Head Coach)
  • Gordon Lyon (Assistant Coach)
  • Louise Dalgliesh (Assistant Coach)

Scottish Futures Kick Development Coach:

  • Claire Cruickshank 

Scotland Women U18 7s Head Coach:

  • Graeme Blackhall