October 28, 2021

Mixing things up at Merchiston's 15's festival

Written by:
Andy Muir

The dust has settled, but what a weekend the Merchiston 15’s Rugby festival was.

Well done to Roddy, Rory and all the team at the school.

Every coach, parent, and spectator I spoke to was so enthusiastic about the weekend.

We loved being a part of it, and there were some amazing moments uploaded onto Coach Logic.

It was great to see Scottish club teams mixing it with leading English and Scottish schools. It felt that this created something unique at this level, where so often they are kept apart.

Merchiston’s Director of Rugby, Roddy Deans, alluded to this very point after losing to local club side Boroughmuir when he remarked that his (school) squad came up against something different during their 3rd/ 4th play off match.  A great experience for both sides.

Sticking with the results side of things, Seaford took home the spoils winning the cup competition. For those that saw the end of the match it appeared they didn’t want to, but they got there in the end!

When I caught up with Liam Doubler on Day 1, who was leading the Seaford squad, he spoke of the positive experience and memories created for the young players off the field. They arrived in Edinburgh, from their usual base in the South Downs, on Friday to take in the city, got the opportunity to watch Edinburgh Rugby play on Saturday evening, before returning south on Monday.

I’m sure a weekend never to be forgotten.

And what of the individual experiences of the players, and how many of them will end up representing clubs and countries at a much higher level in the years to come.

If anyone is in any doubt how close this can be, Merchiston have 3 recent leavers, Jamie Dobie, Rufus McLean and Matthew Currie, in the national squad for Scotland’s Autumn Nations series.

With that in mind, it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on Boroughmuir’s Liam McConnell who picked up player of the tournament amongst some stiff competition.

A couple of players who also really stood out were Bedford’s number 8 and Stirling County’s right winger. Unfortunately, they both got injured for the latter stages, but I sense we’ve not seen the last of them!

Well done to all for such a fantastic weekend, and thanks for having us along.

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