Scottish Rugby confirms new cohort for Stade Nicois

Scottish Rugby is continuing its performance partnership with French side Stade Nicois and has identified six players who will join the club for the coming 2018/19 season.

The French side secured promotion to the national Federale 1 league at the end of last season and will now play in the third tier of French professional rugby.

Their successful campaign was supported by hooker Dave Cherry, back-row Bruce Flockhart and fly-half Josh Henderson, who have returned to sign senior terms with Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors and Scotland 7s respectively.

Former Glasgow Warriors back-row Tyrone Holmes remains with the club for a second season as a player alongside his strength and conditioning role, where he has responsibility for the young Scottish players.

Fellow former Warriors player Pete Murchie retired due to injury earlier this year while with Stade Nicois and returned to Scotland where he is now Head Coach at Ayr, alongside a specialist coaching role with Scottish Rugby.

Creating opportunities for developing players

Scottish Rugby’s Technical Director Stephen Gemmell said: “Stade Nicois worked incredibly hard last season to achieve promotion and we received some very positive and regular feedback on the contribution the on-loan Scots made to the campaign.

“As the club moves into a higher league we have identified a new group of players who will have the opportunity to develop their careers and broaden their wider experience through living and playing in a different country.

“Federale 1 will be a tougher test and we look forward to supporting the players and the club as they progress through the season.”

The new group heading to France for the coming season is made up of Scottish Rugby academy and Currie Chieftains pair Hamish Bain (who featured in the Scotland U20 squad that secured its highest ever finish of 5th in the 2017 Junior World Championships) and Cameron Hutchison [pictured above], who played in four matches at the 2018 Junior World Championships for Scotland U20.

Joining the academy pair are a further two players identified through the SQ Programme: Boroughmuir and academy lock Archie Erskine [right] (who also featured in the 2017 Junior World Championships and previously played at Newcastle Falcons) and former Yorkshire Carnegie tighthead prop Charlie Capps.

Former Edinburgh and Scotland 7s centre Nick McLellan completes the group heading to France in pursuit of a new challenge.

Bain said: “I’m really excited to get stuck in at Stade Nicois.

“I’ve played for Currie Chieftains for the past three years and I’m hoping to use that experience across there, while hopefully learning a lot of new things as well.

“I know that the forwards in France are really physical so hopefully training and playing against them will help to develop my game.

“I think it will be quite difficult learning the language and learning all the lineout calls in French but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Hutchison added: “I was very surprised to offered the opportunity to join Stade Nicois and I’m really excited to head out to France.

“I don’t think the news has sunk in yet but it’s a great opportunity and a good stepping stone to improving my game.

“There will be a greater sense of independence in France. You are away from the norm and exposed to a different culture and language. We will embrace everything while we’re out there.

“The style of rugby they play in France is different to here so hopefully in terms of technical ability there will be aspects that I can improve on.”