District boys head for The Gytes

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The first Scotland under-18 player development camp of the season will be held at The Gytes in Peebles this weekend and concludes with a friendly against the squad’s counterparts from Leeds Academy on Sunday.

A number of the young players, including Craig Cowan (Jed Thistle) and Gala Wanderers pair Ruari Howarth and Gary Robertson, have already enjoyed a first taste of international rugby at an under-17 player development camp in Spain in July where the focus was on technical, tactical, mental and physical training.

The weekend not only provides an opportunity for other players to come into the mix but also gives the new coaching team – which continues to be headed by Eddie Pollock – the chance to see the boys play competitively.

Joining Ben Fisher, who was involved with the squad last year, as assistant coach is Don Caskie, the former Scotland B centre who was recently backs coach with Georgia and is currently Director of Rugby at Dollar.

Pollock says: “The guys trained really hard at the summer camp in Valladolid (Spain) to improve their skills and their work rate and commitment has been very good.

“After this weekend we’ll spend the next few months looking at players in their schools and clubs, to put together a squad of 40 for the October camp which signals the start of the business end of the season.”

Scottish Districts XV v Leeds Academy U18 at Peebles RFC, kick-off 1.30pm on Sunday.