MARR RUGBY ace Scott Bickerstaff called up for Scotland International Club XV training squad.

He is one of 15 backs (five competing for places in in the back three) called up to join the training squad for the Scotland Club International XV side. The other back three candidates are Craig Gossman (Ayr RFC); Fraser Thomson (Melrose RFC); Jordan Edmonds (Boroughmuir RFC) and Robbie Nairn (Ayr RFC).

This is the first time a Marr Rugby player has achieved this recognition and is another step in Marr Rugby's aim to have their players enjoying the opportunity of experiencing playing rugby at the highest possible level.

Meanwhile Scott and brother and Marr strikeforce partner Conor have opted to join the ProjecX Waterboys invitational seven-a-side squad for the Dubai Rugby 7s,which takes place this coming weekend where they will.swap winter rugby in Scotland for the experience of the short game in the warmer climes of Dubai.

Meanwhile Marr Rugby’s first major success of season was achieved after the results of the Mitsubishi Motors Schools & Youth Conferences 2017/18 were announced, with Marr College winners of the Barbarian Conference.

Scottish Rugby’s schools and youth competition structure has been in place for three years. It is based on a whole school model with the need to field five sides, one at each age group from U13 – U18. League standing is based on the aggregate results from all age groups. This is the first time Marr College have won their conference and follows a conscious decision at the start of this season to reinvigorate and increase support and emphasis on youth rugby development. This plan included increasing numbers playing as well as improving what we were doing in skills development. The team of youth coaches and the players involved at all levels are to be commended for their response and the performances delivered.

With stiff competition playing against nine other school/club sides including a mixture of state and private schools, including Ayr/Wellington, Carrick Academy, Morrison Academy, Queen Victoria and St Columba’s, Marr Rugby’s age group teams all delivered some great performances and achieved superb results.

This success is an important part of the Troon club's commitment and long term activity to provide opportunities for young players to participate in rugby and develop key individual and team skills while playing as part of Marr Rugby. We continue to see improvements in numbers involved and the standard and level of play we are achieving. This involves young players who have progressed through to youth rugby from our Minis and those who join while at secondary school and then continue on into senior rugby as part of the “Marr College conveyer belt”.

Youth coaching is supported by senior players – led by Marr Rugby club captain Gregor Ness and senior coaches, including Marr Rugby’s head coach Craig Redpath and our rugby development officers Callum Harris and Ewan Bulger, who are embedded within Marr College .

Of particular note this season is our work with the S1 intake at Marr College where we increased the numbers involved at the start of the season from eight to now having over 20 players regularly involved. In total and covering all age groups we expect to continue to have more than 130 young players involved in developing their rugby skills and enjoying learning and developing while participating in rugby as a sport.

Whilst the School’s Conference is now complete rugby action for Marr College continues.

The U16 and U18’s are in the semi-finals of the Schools’ Cup Competitions and from December all age groups will continue playing in a series of ‘friendly’ fixtures.

A big thanks goes to all the players, coaches and parents involved in achieving this success.

Marr Rugby return to action on Saturday. The 1st XV are at Heriots, the 2s visit Dundee and the 3s are away to Cumnock 2s.