1999 Five Nations winner Peter Walton appointed to unearth Scottish-qualified rugby talent

Former Scotland internationalist Peter Walton has been appointed by the SRU to “scour the globe” for Scottish-qualified talent.

Peter Walton in action (right) against France in the 1994 Five Nations, with current Scotland coach Gregor Townsend on the left. Picture: SNS
Peter Walton in action (right) against France in the 1994 Five Nations, with current Scotland coach Gregor Townsend on the left. Picture: SNS

The national side is becoming more and more reliant on players born outside Scotland as it strives to stay competitive. Low playing numbers and the fact that there are only two professional teams have made it increasingly difficult to find enough players who are Scottish born.

In this year’s Six Nations match against Wales, for example, national coach Gregor Townsend fielded a starting XV with eight players born outside of Scotland.

Walton, capped 24 times and part of the 1999 Five Nations title-winning squad, has been charged with identifying the best talent eligible to play for Scotland and will have the title, SQ (Scottish Qualified) Performance Player Transition Manager.

Walton, 53, who was previously Gloucester’s head of academy, will work with Kenny Murray, the SRU’s head of player transition, “to provide a clear performance pathway for Scottish-qualified men and women players aged over 18 who have the potential to play U20s, with Scotland international teams or Edinburgh Rugby/Glasgow Warriors”.

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Murray said: “Having a man of Peter Walton’s experience join us will be of massive benefit to Scottish Rugby as we aim to scour the globe to discover the best players eligible to play for Scotland and make a positive impact to both our club and international sides, adding depth to those players based within Scotland.”

Walton said: “In order for Scottish Rugby to fulfil its full potential it is important to make sure we are able to identify all players eligible to play for Scotland and it is a challenge I am really looking forward to undertaking.”

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