Scottish Rugby to send promising trio to South Africa for Macphail Scholarship

Three of the most exciting young male rugby players in Scotland are to spend five months in South Africa after being named recipients of the John Macphail Scholarship.

Guy Kirkpatrick, Monroe Job and Callum Smyth are the recipients of the MacPhail Scholarship. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Guy Kirkpatrick, Monroe Job and Callum Smyth are the recipients of the MacPhail Scholarship. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The Macphail Scholarship was established in 2005 by Scottish Rugby and the Robertson Trust in memory of former internationalist John Macphail.

Monroe Job, Guy Kirkpatrick and Callum Smyth will be immersed in South Africa’s renowned rugby culture at the high-performance training facility at Stellenbosch University for the first half of 2023.

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A few years ago, when New Zealand used to be the destination for scholarship recipients, household names like John Barclay, Jonny Gray and Finn Russell were part of it as they made their way in the game.

Job, 18, has made an instant impact in senior rugby in recent months playing No.8 for Selkirk in the Tennent’s Premiership.

The Scotland under-18 cap said: “Playing for the Selkirk firsts has been amazing, it is a big step up physically, but I have really enjoyed the challenge and now I cannot wait to get out to South Africa and learn more.”

Kirkpatrick, the 18-year-old stand-off whose father Ronnie played for Jed-Forest and a Scotland XV, currently plays for Heriot’s Blues.

“I think, when you come out of school, you have the tools to play men’s rugby, but controlling the game at that level comes with experience and this trip will be a great experience,” he said.

Scotland under-18 prop Callum Smyth came through the ranks at Kettering RFC and Bedford School, but is now based in the Borders and has a Scottish mother from Ayrshire.

“I think I’ll learn so much from this trip,” the 18-year-old said.

The trio depart on January 23.

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