KELVINSIDE ACADEMY’S 1st XV have been inspired by former pupil Richie Gray ahead of taking on Glasgow rivals Hutchesons’ Grammar School in the Scottish Schools’ Under-18 Shield Final at Murrayfield tomorrow evening [kick-off is at 6pm].
The Scotland and Lions second-row, who now plays his club rugby for Toulouse in France, gave a rallying cry to the current rugby players from his alma mater while they were on tour to Toulouse during the October break.
“He’s already done so much in his career and quite a few of the boys think playing professional rugby in France and walking out in front of 67,000 people at Murrayfield is certainly something to strive for,” said 1st XV captain Gavin McKirdy.
“We really appreciate Richie spending all the time with us that he did, and introducing us to some of his fellow players like Charlie Faumuina, the All Black World Cup winning prop. We take our rugby very seriously and there’s a lot that we learned both from our visit to Toulouse, and the teams we played in France, that we’ve taken back to Glasgow with us.”
“We have really enjoyed our rugby this season and thanks to the brilliant support and coaching from Mr Wilson and Ally Craig we have had some great results. We just can’t wait for the final.”
David Wilson, Head of Sport at Kelvinside Academy, has been impressed with the team’s commitment this season.
“The boys have worked extremely hard, grafting at early morning strength and conditioning sessions before school, as well as committed training sessions. Their team ethos has been particularly impressive – they don’t just rely on strong individual performances,” he said.
During their French tour, Kelvinside secure a 50-19 win over Muret RFC; then, just 24 hours later, they ran out of steam in a 24-5 defeat to Balgnac RFC, former French internationalist Freddy Michalak’s current club.
Scott Cummings of Glasgow Warriors and Andrew Davidson of Newcastle Falcons are also recent graduates of the Kelvinside Academy second-row factory.
To find out more about the school, visit www.kelvinside.org.