Scottish Rugby’s performance partnership with newly-promoted Federale 1 team Stade Nicois will continue this season, with five new players set to join the Alpes-Maritimes side for the forthcoming campaign.
The French team was aided in its successful promotion bid by hooker Dave Cherry, back-rower Bruce Flockhart and fly-half Josh Henderson.
The trio have since signed senior terms with Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors and the Scotland 7s side respectively.
Former Glasgow back-row Tyrone Holmes, who also played a part last season, will stay on in the French Riviera where he will continue to combine playing duties with his strength and conditioning role at the club.
Scottish Rugby Technical Director Stephen Gemmell said: “Stade Nicois worked incredibly hard last season to achieve promotion and we received some very positive and regular feedback on the contribution the on-loan Scots made to the campaign.
“As the club moves into a higher league we have identified a new group of players who will have the opportunity to develop their careers and broaden their wider experience through living and playing in a different country.
“Federale 1 will be a tougher test and we look forward to supporting the players and the club as they progress through the season.”
The five new players heading for France’s south-east coast are Currie Chieftains duo Hamish Bain and Cameron Hutchison, both members of the Fosroc Scottish Rugby academy and Scotland Under-20 caps; Boroughmuir and academy lock Archie Erskine; ex-Yorkshire Carnegie tighthead Charlie Capps and ex-Edinburgh and Scotland 7s centre Nick McLellan. The quintet will join Holmes as the six Scottish Rugby players at Nice.
Bain said: “I’m really excited to get stuck in at Stade Nicois. I know that the forwards in France are really physical so hopefully training and playing against them will help to develop my game.
“I think it will be quite difficult learning the language and learning all the lineout calls in French but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Hutchison added: “I don’t think the news has sunk in yet but it’s a great opportunity and a good stepping stone to improving my game.
“The style of rugby they play in France is different to here so hopefully in terms of technical ability there will be aspects that I can improve on.”