Down Inverleith Way

Down Inverleith Way

Wednesday 22nd November 2017

In recent times there has been a concerted attempt to bring a more unified approach to all aspects
of Rugby at Inverleith. The School, the F.P. Rugby Club and the Lions have come together to
create the concept of “Stewart’s Melville Rugby”.

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Stewart’s Melville Rugby

With the school fielding up to 30 sides on a Saturday and the Lions offering rugby to a multitude of boys from P1 to P7 (and now girls through the Lionesses) on a Sunday, it is important that excellent organisation, collaboration and co-operation are in place so that the best interests of the young players are to the forefront. To help facilitate the efforts of the teachers and the incredible number of volunteer adults from the Lions, and provide the vital link between all sections of Stewart’s Melville Rugby, Bruce Ruthven has been employed as a rugby co-ordinator. The Stewart’s Melville Rugby Academy has been a major development to come out of this process.

The Lions You can find out information about the Lions on the Stewart’s Melville Rugby website. However, it is important to emphasize that the Lions is open to any child and not just to those who attend the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools. The club is very keen to make a contribution to its local community and to offer opportunity, fun and enjoyment to all through participating in Rugby.



A brief summary of a very busy season so far would include, a pre-season training camp; a really well attended Open Day; two major home tournaments where over 500 players and parents on each occasion have been entertained;

and matches at all age groups against Ellon, Perthshire, Watsonians, Edinburgh Accies, Melrose, Currie and Stirling to mention just a few. The boys have also trained with the Edinburgh squad and are due to play at Murrayfield when the 1872 Cup takes place. Underpinning all this are regular training and practice sessions where the emphasis is solidly placed on personal development and enjoyment. The whole Lions’ experience is about inclusivity. The P7 squad, before moving on to the Academy, undertake a tour to Italy which, I am reliably informed, is as eagerly anticipated by the fathers as the players! Don’t take my word for it. Get involved and come to Inverleith on Sunday as a player, coach, referee or spectator.


The Lionesses in action at Inverleith. They have also played on the Greenyards where the famous Melrose 7’s take place.


The Stewart’s Melville Rugby Academy

The Rugby Academy, launched in August 2015, is the brainchild of Stewart’s Melville Rugby Co-ordinator, Bruce Ruthven, Stewart’s Melville RFC Board member Ralph Campbell along with collaboration of the Senior Section and the School. The Rugby Academy focuses on developing the player by fostering an environment which Challenges…… by playing matches against strong opposition Develop…. by coaching that doesn’t revolve so strongly about week to week match results but seeks to improve individual abilities within a team sport Inspires and Nurtures….. them to want to remain a member of the rugby fraternity for the longer term Enjoyable…. Because it helps them to improve, they feel supported by the coaches and they get to develop their talent in a safe and structured environment The Rugby Academy is open to ALL who display the required behaviours to make our Rugby Academy a success:

Learning mindset Enthusiasm Courtesy Team mindset

The Academy is seen as a vital link between the Lions, the Senior Club and the School. However, again, it is important to emphasise that the Stewart’s Melville Rugby Academy is open to any child and not just to those who attend the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools. There are squads at U13, U14 and U16 and it is hoped that this will extend to U18 level. As well as the Academy coaches, sessions have been run by such luminaries as Tony Stanger, Scott Riddell , Sean Lineen, Henry Edwards, Stuart Edwards, Hayden Lingard and Bryan Easson. In addition to rugby skills, topics such as Growth Mindset, Performance Lifestyle and SRU Player Development Programmes have been covered. Neither has endeavour been limited to the rugby pitches, and players have regularly participated in sessions such as Crossfit and Hydrotherapy


Academy players take part in a hydrotherapy session run by Aly Duncan. Matches have been played against the likes of Stirling County, Currie and Edinburgh BATS and are organised in liaison with the school so that they are mutually beneficial, and fully comply with SRU regulations. To conclude the season, a tour of Canada is being organised in the first weeks of the school summer holidays in 2017. If you are interested in joining please make contact with the Rugby Academy Director Ross McNulty via From the point of view of the Senior Section of Stewart’s Melville, it is hoped that all these initiatives will encourage players to remain loyal to the club and play their rugby after school or university at Inverleith! Stewart’s Melville College 1st XV Congratulations to the College 1st XV who won a tense conference fixture last Friday night at Myreside against George Watson’s by 20-15. Coaches Lockie and Moran were not altogether happy with the performance but a win against the “Auld Enemy” is a win! Their hectic season continues tomorrow (Thursday 24th November) when they meet Merchiston, for the second time this season, in the semi-final of the Scottish Schools Under 18 cup. The venue is Colinton (another away draw!) with a 2.00 kick off. If you can make it, they would really appreciate your support. The other semi- final is between Dollar and George Watson’s.


Scotland U19

Congratulations to Jamie Hodgson and Finn Hobbis, 2nd row and prop respectively in the senior club 1st XV, who represented a Scotland Under 19 Development XV in a very close encounter against the Georgia U20 XV (21-17 to the visitors) at Meggatland this afternoon.

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