ANOTHER promising young Scot has been snapped up by French rugby after the Scottish professional teams passed him over.
Adam Sinclair played for Scotland under-20s this season in the Six Nations Championship, scoring a try against France at Netherdale, and is currently with the squad in the IRB Junior World Championships in South Africa.
The 19-year-old lock forward stands at 6ft 6in tall and weighs 17 stones and appears to be just what Perpignan need. Neil Sinclair, Adam’s father, told The Scotsman: “The move to Perpignan came a bit like a bolt from the blue. When the SRU were signing up boys from the Under-20s for the Glasgow and Edinburgh academies Adam wasn’t contacted, so we asked if there was an opening and were told the numbers were limited so no.
“He had gone to South Africa to play with the Western Province institute last summer for three months and they came back and offered him the chance to play this summer in the junior Currie Cup, so he was planning to stay there after the Junior World Championship. But we also spoke to an agent and, about two or three weeks ago, he came back saying that Perpignan were interested. They offered Adam a full-time two-year contract in their academy and because we were aware of how well Mark Bennett has done, and how much he seems to have enjoyed it, at Clermont Auvergne, and there is another youngster Murdo McAndrew going there this summer, it seemed like a good option. My feeling is that our youngsters don’t get enough rugby week-in, week-out in Scotland,” he continued, “and that is perhaps the biggest difference because in France Adam will get full-time training, and train twice a week with the senior squad, and will be able to play every week because they have strong leagues at under-21 and under-23.” Perpignan finished 11th in the Top 14 this season but have signed Scotland flanker Alasdair Strokosch and now have Welsh lock Luke Charteris on their books as well as James Hook among 21 full internationalists as they bid for a push back into the French elite.
Sinclair is a product of Bannockburn High School and Stirling County and has represented Caledonia at under-16 and under-17 levels before winning Scotland caps at under-17 and under-18. The big schoolboy studied at Loretto on a scholarship in his final year, where he came under the wing of South African teacher Danie Rossouw, and was pushed in the Western Province direction.
However, he is delighted to be heading to France after returning from Cape Town next week.
“He is very excited about it,” added his father. “Of course we would love him to be playing with Edinburgh or Glasgow and be able to see him more regularly, but that’s not an option and I think he and we feel that this is an opportunity that might never come along again.
“When he was at Western Province last year he really learned a lot and improved as a player, because he was stretched among bigger players with much higher standards, and so we hope that this will take him on again.”