New porridge proves truly scrum-ptious: Scots rugby stars appear on iconic cereal pack

IT IS one of the nation's most iconic brands, stirring the pride of many a passionate Scot.

• The new packs of oats will feature Scottish rugby union stars such as Thom Evans for a limited period

For generations of youngsters, the musclebound Highlander on packs of porridge oats was the ultimate role model for finishing every morsel.

But now the famous image of the strapping shotputter which has adorned boxes of Scott's Porage Oats has been replaced for the first time since 1955 – to help support Scotland's rugby favourites.

Kilted images of three leading players – Chris Paterson, Thom Evans and Ross Ford – will be featuring on some two million packs of the leading porridge product, which dates back almost 100 years.

Quaker, which makes the porridge product at its long-running factory in Cupar, Fife, has agreed to the move under a new sponsorship deal with the Scottish Rugby Union which will see star players offered free supplies.

Paterson, the Scottish cap record-holder, said: "I grew up eating Scott's Porage and now eat it before training and a big match. It is truly an honour to be on the new packs."

The limited-edition packs will be launched later this month to coincide with the kick-off of the annual Six Nations championship.

The image of Scott's famous kilted advertising star, known only as "Big Rory", was first deployed in 1924, ten years after original producer A&R Scott created the brand Scott's Porage Oats to distinguish its brand from market rivals.

The inspiration for the original shotputting Scot was said to be an anonymous soldier from the King's Own Scottish Borderers, who were barracked beside Scott's original factory in Colinton, Edinburgh.

Scott's Porage Oats have had the same packaging since 1955 when colour advertising was introduced.

However, the image did inspire a television advertising campaign in 1998, with a kilted actor striking a similar pose to the one made famous by Marilyn Monroe in the film The Seven Year Itch.

The current Cupar plant produces Quaker's entire supply of European oats.

Sean Summers, who is marketing director at Quaker, said: "This is an exciting partnership for Scott's.

"We have always championed Scottish sport and now we are celebrating the heroes of Scottish rugby.

"Not only are we putting the players on the pack, we are also providing porridge to fuel them to win in the Six Nations."

Gordon McKie, the SRU's chief executive, said: "Our national team is entering an exciting new chapter.

"It's great to have the support of one of Scotland's most famous brands.

"To perform at the highest level in sport means players have to eat wisely and well, and if this partnership encourages young Scots to give themselves a healthy start to the day then that has to be good news."