Talent Principles

Academy Talent Philosophy
SM Academy Membership Form

Dear Parent/Guardian

We are continuing to enhance from the success of last season’s Academy to give players further opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge within the game in a measured environment with player welfare at the forefront of individual development. The academy acts as a youth section continuation from the lion’s mini section providing a rugby programme to ensure each player receives a well-balanced season plan and carefully targeted support.

We will seek to develop our players not only in a rugby playing context, but perhaps more importantly from a personal growth perspective. Mixing hard work and fun will remain at the core of everything we do and the style of rugby we want to play is fast, free flowing and attractive to watch. Therefore, we shall build our season plan and sessions around this style of rugby and encourage the players to have both the confidence and belief to play good rugby in high quality fixtures. The season plan will once again include specialist skills sessions from top coaches and players as well as performance workshops so we develop the whole player and provide opportunities for all. The season Plan will be available for players and parents in June 2017.

The past two seasons the Academy has coached over eighty young players who have developed as players and progressed well as young men on their life journey. Highlights from last season included a brilliant Tour to Aboyne with Horseback UK and winning the Greengard’s Shield 7’s at Melrose. A video summary of last season can be found on Stewart`s Melville Rugby Academy and Stew Mel Lions Facebook Page. Alternatively visit the club website at www.stewmelrugby.com

The Academy caters for players from S1-S6 and is open to ALL players from ANY school who want to play rugby. Our programme is aligned and co-ordinated with the SRU’s pathway programme and Long Term Player Development (“LTPD”) principles.

Stewart`s Melville College Head of Rugby, Stuart Edwards’s comments;

‘’The Stew Mel Academy has been a resounding success in its first two years. With numbers growing and the programme constantly evolving; exciting times lie ahead. With the focus on wellbeing, the Academy provides a fantastic environment where our players are educated on their recovery, nutrition, mental strength and resilience. Alongside this, the Academy fixture list goes hand-in-hand with school fixtures to ensure boys are not playing two games in one weekend whilst being exposed to challenging fixtures from clubs all over Scotland such as Melrose, Ayr and Glasgow Hawks amongst others. The work of Bruce Ruthven, Ross McNulty and all of the volunteers is incredible and our boys really are experiencing what it is like to be part of a rugby club community with people who really care and want to drive the programme forward.”

Bryan Easson, SRU, Edinburgh BT Academy Coach & Scotland U16 Head Coach Comments;

“The work that Bruce Ruthven and Ross McNulty have put into the SMC Academy over the past couple of years has been outstanding, with the fruits of this work really beginning to take effect.

The focus of the Academy has of course been the Technical and Tactical side of rugby where the coaching available to the players is first class, however the information and input the players get on other areas such as Hydrotherapy, Nutrition, video analysis and high performance behaviours ensures that the players are given the full education on how to become a top level athlete.

The approach that the Academy has taken to develop their players is outstanding, and with the excellent links they have with the school and senior club the structure will ensure that the ‘player’ continues to be at the centre of this programme. The players being produced are also what we’re looking for at representative level as they understand the Long Term Player Development principles and the importance of player welfare.

I look forward seeing how this programme continues to evolve.”

Colin Thomson, SRU Head of Schools & Youth Rugby states;

“Scottish Rugby advocates that through their secondary school years players experience a balanced programme of development in line with our Long Term Player Development Strategy. The “Stewarts Melville Academy” ensures that the school, club and the parent work together around getting it right for the child as they progress in their rugby. This approach will mean that all participants experience a balanced programme over the longer term, which in turn will ensure that the players are ready to step into the adult game ready to play into and throughout their adult life and for some to step into professional rugby. Scottish Rugby supports this initiative as a model of best practice and looks forward to seeing the concept develop over the next couple of years.”

Membership forms for the 2017-18 are readily available from Bruce Ruthven, Ross McNulty and Stuart Edwards.

Stewart Edwards                                                        Bruce Ruthven
Head of SMC Senior Rugby                                        Stewart’s Melville Rugby Co-ordinator


Joe Boyle                                                                  Ross McNulty
Academy Manager                                                     Fixtures Convenor & U18 Manager

If you have any questions regarding the information in this email please contact Bruce Ruthven