Scotland Star Shines In The North
Scotland’s Nick De Luca was the centre of attention on Orkney this past weekend as a reward for the local rugby club’s culinary expertise. De Luca, the 11-times capped Edinburgh back, visited Orkney’s rugby club following the mince and haggis lasagne recipe the club concocted to win Scottish Rugby’s pasta challenge during the most recent RBS 6 Nations Championship. The delectable dish was chosen by De Luca and his Scotland team-mate, prop Euan Murray, from a shortlist of haute cuisine from Aberdeenshire, Stirling County and Broughton Rugby Clubs. De Luca enjoyed a reprise of the dish when he met its creator, Anne Stewart, in Kirkwall. Well-fuelled, De Luca then embarked on a whistle-stop tour. He began with a trip to Kirkwall Grammar School where he joined teacher Adrian Askew and volunteer coaches working with pupils from first to fourth year. De Luca gave them some pointers on passing and tackling techniques and later signed autographs and distributed Scotland and Edinburgh posters. He said: “There’s unquestionably some good raw talent here and, it’s important to support the volunteer coaches as without these guys the kids wouldn’t have the chance to play. I know that from my own experience growing up in Lockerbie.” From there, De Luca travelled down to Pickaquoy, Orkney’s home ground where the club’s annual sevens tournament was underway. In addition to 15 teams in the senior event – for which De Luca made the draw – there was an under-16 tournament and a massive mini-rugby competition too. De Luca supported the mini-rugby event, becoming a lucky mascot for the Dounby P4/P5 team, as players from some of the outer islands, Egilsay, Rousay, Flotta and North Ronaldsay, joined in the fun. De Luca took keen interest in the senior tournament too, watching his former club, Heriot’s account for North Berwick in their opening tie, before mingling with many of the Orkney club’s sponsors. Rodney Spence, chairman of Orkney RFC, said: “It’s been fantastic to have Nick with us. The impact it makes, particularly on the children, to have a current Scotland internationalist here, is brilliant.” Rounding off a perfect day for the club, the sevens was played in dry and bright conditions, attracted a crowd of around 1,000 and ended with Orkney’s first seven beating the holders, Peebles, 24-7 in the final. Before travelling to Orkney De Luca and Scotland 7s internationalist Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors) had visited Millburn Academy in Inverness. There they had congratulated two members of the school’s S2 team, Andrew Kellock and John Clarke. The teenagers, already recipients of Young Scot awards, were presented with signed Scotland rugby balls and Scotland shirts, to mark their quick-thinking and composure when they successfully brought their school minibus to a halt after their teacher had collapsed at the wheel. The incident happened when they were returning from a school rugby match against Plockton High earlier this year. Vernon, who was also promoting the final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series, the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival at Murrayfield at the end of May (30 and 31), said: “What Andrew and John did was an amazing feat and we’ve been delighted to come to the school today to congratulate them personally and join in with some of their rugby coaching drills.”Notes to editors: Ticket prices for the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival• Any day ticket prices (ticket grants access to either day) • Adult advance purchase -£15 £20 on the day) • Family advance purchase -£35 (two adults & two children) • Senior citizen -£10 • Student and under-18 -£10 and£5 • The Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival is the eighth and final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series. It will be held at Murrayfield on 30 and 31 May 2009. • Tickets for each day of the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival – priced at£15 for adults,£10 for students and senior citizens and£5 for under 18s – are available to by logging onto www.scottishrugbytickets.com by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0871 200 1511 (open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or in person from the Murrayfield Ticket Centre, Roseburn Street, Edinburgh (open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).• Rugby Sevens will be one of the showpiece events of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s is just one of four major events happening at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, in May• Rugby League’s Magic Weekend took place last weekend• Sunday 10 May: Scottish Hydro Electric Cup Finals Day • Saturday 23 May: The Heineken Cup Final • Saturday 30 and Sunday 31: Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s Festival Scottish Rugby has worked extensively with event partners Event Scotland, Visit Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, to fully promote the world-class events coming to Murrayfield to ensure that everybody attending is fully aware of what Edinburgh as a city has to offer both the resident and the visitor. Event Scotland – www.eventscotland.org• EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. Visit Scotland – www.visitscotland.com• VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.• The organisation has three key roles: 1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors 2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland 3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations City of Edinburgh Council – www.edinburgh.gov.ukA capital like no other450,000 people. One city. Countless opportunities.• Edinburgh is known across the world as Scotland’s festival capital, business capital, and culture capital. The city is home to the Scottish Parliament and some of the most iconic landmarks on the planet. Nearly half a million people call the city home, and we serve each and every one of them, making sure the city is a great place to live, work and enjoy. Edinburgh is a unique city, a vibrant city, a growing city, an evolving city. It’s a city that’s at the heart of Europe and the heart of a nation.