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Highland teenager is called up to Scotland under-16 rugby squad

By Gavin Musgrove

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A Highland Rugby Club teenager has been called up to train with the Scottish national U16 rugby squad after his strong performances in selection camps held since the New Year.

Toby Haworth
Toby Haworth

Toby Haworth (15) has been representing Caledonia Reds in the FOSROC U16 Regional Academy championship.

The Kingussie High School pupil has been involved bi-weekly training and player development sessions in Dundee and culminated in three matches against the other SRU regions – Borders and East Lothian, Edinburgh and Glasgow and the West.

Haworth’s dominant performances in those matches prompted his call up to the U16 national squad

The six foot tall inside centre from Kincraig joined up with his new teammates earlier this month for a day of training at Murrayfield.

He said: “Being selected to train with the national squad is really a dream come true. It’s just one step on a long ladder but I’m determined to use this opportunity to show what I can do.

“The standard of skills in the squad is obviously really high and it’s been great preparation for the coming season back at the club.”

Haworth’s intensive summer of rugby was not just spent representing Caledonia – he also spent a week in the East Midlands in England on a residential performance camp with Northampton Saints.

The Scotland pathway he is on helps players reach their potential and develop a rounded skill set both on and off the field. As part of the squad, he will receive ongoing support for the development of his playing skills, strength and conditioning, nutrition and mindset.

He now returns to Highland U18s for the start of the domestic season despite just turning 15 in June. The 40 players making up the national U16 squad will have an October ‘connection’ which will involve training at Murrayfield and other breakout sessions on subjects including nutrition.

There will also be ongoing oversight of strength and conditioning sessions through localised coaching and use of apps.

There is no Six Nations equivalent for U16s – that comes when they transition to the U18 Scotland squad next year, which this is the first step towards.

But there could be games in the new year against the Welsh U16 national squad counterparts and other professional team academies.

But the emphasis at this stage is very much on player development to prepare them for U18 Scotland and the professional game.

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