Grant called up for Scots’ regional academy squad

A YOUNG Dalziel Rugby Club star has been called up to a squad which could form the nucleus of Scotland’s line-up for the 2019 World Club in Japan.

Hooker Grant Stewart is among 27 hopefuls who have been selected for this season’s Scottish regional academy programme.

The teenagers have been selected after their performances at club, school, regional or Scotland under-16s, under-17s, under-18s or under-20 last season.

Academy manager Grant McKelvey said: “Each player has an individual development plan and thanks to the Institute of Sport regional network they receive specialist guidance and support in strength and conditioning, medical, nutrition, physiology, psychology and performance lifestyle services .

“They have been chosen as a result of their performances last season and in finalising the selection we’ve consulted extensively with national age-grade coaches and pro-team coaches as well as our own staff and other stakeholders.”

Stewart (17), from Strathaven, joined Dalziel in the 2010-11 season and played with the under-16s, following in the footsteps of his older brother Euan who had joined the club the season before.

He played most of last year with the under-18s, but did turn out twice for the 2nd XV, scoring a hat-trick on debut against Kirkcaldy in 93-19 win last November.

He also trained quite a bit with the senior squad last season and finally made first XV debut last month in Dalziel’s league opener against GHA.

Stewart also played in the only Scotland under-17 fixture last year and has been involved in under-18 training squads already this season.