Scotland U18 – Mixed Touch Ruby Team

We would like to share the news of Touch Rugby success of two of our pupils – James Pinkerton and Cameron Livingstone.

 

 

Dear Ms Macarthur,

 

I have previously written to your school with news about two of your pupils who had been chosen to represent Scotland in an international Touch competition held during the summer. I am now writing to give you an update on how our team performed at the Junior Touch Championships.

 

When Wales Touch floated the idea of a Mixed Junior Touch Championship ahead of this year’s European Touch Championships, STA was fully supportive despite Scotland not having a mixed U18 squad of players.

 

By various means, schools and rugby clubs were encouraged to promote the idea of Touch and for young people aged between 14 & 18 to participate in a taster session held at Fettes College in late April. Numbers were encouraging, skills evident and the potential was there – so we decided to go for it. Our aim was to select a squad of 16 players (10 boys & 6 girls) to represent Scotland in these Junior Touch Championships to be held at Swansea University on 5-6th August. A tall order to produce a winning team inside 14 weeks!

 

Training began in earnest, competition for places was fierce and the nucleus of the squad was established. They had their first taste of serious competition at the Stirling leg of the Scottish Touch Series in early June. The team, which included two members of Portobello High School (Cameron Livingstone and James Pinkerton), played some good touch and gave well established sides a run for their money. The upshot was 5 weeks later Scotland’s U18 Mixed squad of 16 players plus team manager, head coach and one of the parents, who kindly volunteered to be our second driver, headed to Swansea.

 

The tournament was played over two days between six countries. Each team playing the other twice. Our main competition came from the other Home Nations teams with England and Wales (eventual winners) being the strongest. Although we lost to both teams, we ran them close, drawing with England in one game. We finished 3rd in the Pool Stages and ended up playing Ireland for Bronze.

 

The icing on the cake was watching the Scotland team achieve their dream and win the Bronze medal. The memory of watching the team being piped onto the pitch through a tunnel of supporters in front of a crowd of 3,000, then playing brilliant touch rugby, will stay with me for a long time.

 

It is not my practice to single out individuals but I was very pleased to note the contributions by Cameron, a genuine speedster, and James, our Captain, who led by example, was our top male scorer and by selling the most outrageous dummy scored one of the highlight scores of the Championships.

 

On behalf of all involved with Touch in Scotland, I would like to express my thanks to you and your staff for producing such talented individuals, who gave their all on the field, treated their opponents and the referees with respect and by living up to our exacting demands & expectations were worthy to have been awarded their Scotland shirts.

We are not resting on our laurels so do not be too surprised to receive news about next year’s campaign and an invitation to your pupils to try out for Scotland in 2015.

 

With best wishes

 

 

David Matthew

President, Scottish Touch