Rugby: Scott going down under to up game

A TALENTED young rugby player set to embark on a year-long trip to Australia has been tipped to return a stronger player than his peers.

Since guiding Currie Colts to the Under-18 Scottish Youth Cup, hooker Fergus Scott hasn't looked back and was today preparing to head down under to combine work with rugby.

And the 18-year-old has gained invaluable experience over the last year which he believes will stand him in good stead as he faces his new challenge.

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Scott said: "Playing a different type of rugby will allow me to improve my game and I think I will have gained an experience that not many others have been lucky to.

"I want to learn new skills while improving on my fitness and physique as the contact area will be hard to win since the back row players will be quicker and sharper."

A man familiar with the different style of rugby in the Southern Hemisphere is Ben Fisher. Originally from New Zealand, former Boroughmuir captain Fisher is now a SRU Performance Development Manager and has kept a close eye on the progress of Scott during stints with Edinburgh Under-18s.

Fisher said: "It will be interesting to see how he develops under the guidance of new coaches. If he develops as a player skill-wise he will certainly come back ahead of his rivals. The fast paced game, especially with a surface which is generally better, will represent a different challenge. If Fergus improves his individual skills there is no reason why he won't be able to stake a claim for the Under-20 World Cup squad or win a pro contract."

As well as winning the Scottish Cup in 2010, Scott made his mark on the international scene when he represented Scotland under-18s against Wales at the Greenyards, before making the leap from Currie's Under-18 side to the first XV after first-choice hooker Alun Walker sustained an injury.

Scott added: "From playing 16 to 18-year-olds every week to playing fit athletes in their mid twenties has made me learn a lot about myself."