A trio of Scotland’s brightest rugby prospects are to embark on a life-changing rugby experience in South Africa having been awarded this year's John Macphail Rugby Scholarship for 2017.
BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players Angus Fraser (17, Dundee HSFP), Andrew Jardine (Melrose) and Guy Kelly (Biggar) will spend five months immersed in the nation’s renowned rugby culture and high-performance training facility at Stellenbosch University.
The programme, funded by the Trust, is now in its thirteenth year and traditionally sent young players and coaches of prominence to Canterbury in New Zealand for a 15-week programme. This new initiative is designed to explore new relationships for a longer period and in keeping with the northern hemisphere season.
Kenneth Ferguson, Director of the Robertson Trust, said: “Guy, Andy and Angus have exceptional potential and I’m in no doubt all three will prove to be worthy recipients of the scholarship.
“The launch of the new programme makes this year’s announcement particularly exciting, and I, along with the Macphail family and all at The Robertson Trust, look forward to hearing about the players’ progress throughout their time in South Africa and beyond.
“Through the John Macphail Scholarship, The Robertson Trust has assisted in the development of some of Scotland’s brightest young rugby talent for over 13 years. We are proud of this legacy and believe the programme’s new setup, and all the experiences it will bring, will help to accelerate the development of even more professional and international players going forward.”
Previous recipients include:
2005 John Barclay
2006 Graham Hogg
2007 Kevin Bryce
2008 Roddy Grant
2009 Lewis Niven
2010 Finlay Gillies
2011 Grant Gilchrist, Harry Leonard, George Turner. Coach: Ian Monaghan.
2012 Jonny Gray, Gregor Hunter. Coaches: Ben Fisher, Chris Paterson.
2013 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Finn Russell. Coaches: Alex Duncan, Shade Munro.
2014 Adam Ashe, Ewan McQuillin. Coaches: Don Caskie, Kenny Murray.
2015 Callum Hunter-Hill, Ben Robbins. Coaches: Ben Cairns, Duncan Hodge.
2016 Patrick Kelly, Ross McCann. Coaches: Mike Blair, Calum Forrester.