London Scottish and Scottish Rugby have today released details of a new partnership to support the development of a joint performance programme.
The agreement, which is resource focused, will see regular coaching, playing and high performance support provided by Scottish Rugby to the club.
It will provide a further professional rugby environment for identified players, coaches, analysts and support staff, as well as benefitting their personal and professional development.
Selected pro-team, BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and Scottish age-grade players will be based at the Richmond Athletic Ground and available to London Scottish for Greene King IPA Championship and British & Irish Cup fixtures.
Scottish Rugby’s Head of International Age-Grade Rugby, Sean Lineen will take up the role of Director of Rugby on a part-time basis to lead the on-field direction of the performance programme and support current London Scottish Head Coach, Peter Richards.
Lineen will be looking at support staff, facilities, match scheduling, pre-season preparation and player recruitment.
His dual role will enable continuity between the playing systems being implemented by Scotland’s age-grade sides and the development of young Scottish talent through exposure to professional rugby.
Lineen made 29 appearances for Scotland between the years of 1989 to 1992, and has since been Head Coach of Glasgow Warriors.
Roddy Grant will join the London Scottish coaching team for the remainder of the season, following his recent enforced retirement from playing through injury from Edinburgh Rugby.
Grant played over 130 times for Edinburgh and was heavily involved with the Scotland Sevens before retiring.
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “I am very pleased the hard work put in by Scottish Rugby and London Scottish over recent months has now come to fruition.
This is an exciting, logical partnership, which benefits both organisations, who share the common objective of developing and improving Scottish rugby.”
He added: “It provides a new, competitive step on the performance pathway for both players and coaches and we look forward to working with London Scottish CEO Rod Lynch and his team in the seasons to come.”
Sir David Reid, Chairman of London Scottish said: “We will benefit from having experienced players, while we can provide the level of on field competition that younger Scottish players need to aid their development.
“London Scottish intends to remain a successful and ambitious Championship club and Sean Lineen and Roddy Grant will help us achieve this. The relationship between the Union and London Scottish has never been stronger.
I really appreciate the leadership and vision shown by Scottish Rugby in this exciting initiative and the support they have shown to London Scottish.”
London Scottish, a member club of the Scottish Rugby Union, founded in 1878, holds the proud distinction of having the highest number of players, 221, selected for the national team.
Scotland internationalist Rory Hughes has joined BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players Robbie Ferguson, George Horne and Jack Cosgrove in playing for London Scottish this season.
The new performance partnership is designed to complement the existing Scottish Rugby Exiles programme, which identifies and supports Scottish qualified players who are playing their rugby outside Scotland.