Scarlets Academy’s class of 2018-19 is now complete with Morgan MacRae the latest to join the West Wales region.
Sixteen-year-old hooker MacRae is an exciting prospect for the future having joined Scarlets Academy through WRU’s Exiles programme.
MacRae started playing rugby at a very young age impressing at school, club (Henley) and county (Oxfordshire) level before going on to continue his development with Wasps Academy.
Grandparental links to Newcastle Emlyn and Criccieth forged a path for MacRae to join the WRU Exiles programme before leading him to West Wales and the Scarlets.
Joining MacRae in the under 18s category within the Scarlets Academy are five equally talented players from within the region, all handed regional contracts after impressing for Scarlets Under 16s East.
Joe Roberts (Coedcae), Dafydd Land, Iestyn Rees (both Ysgol Bro Dinefwr), Osian Knott and Jac Price (both Ysgol Bro Myrddin) complete the Academy’s intake for the forthcoming season.
Roberts and Knott have both this week been named in Wales Under 18s squad for the tour to South Africa, taking on South Africa Schools, France and England.
The under 16s and under 18s programmes are an important part of region’s development pathway with players introduced to a professional training regime, the use of performance analysis and gain experience of being involved in a professional rugby environment.
The WRU Exiles programme sets out to identify, monitor and develop a network of young, Welsh-qualified boys and girls based outside Wales.
The Academy newcomers will continue with full time education whilst also training with Scarlets Academy and receiving expert coaching and guidance from the region’s Academy and development staff.
Scarlets General Manager of Rugby Jon Daniels said; “Young players like this group here are the lifeblood and future of the region and we’re delighted to be welcoming them in to the Academy.
“We have a very experienced team of staff running our Academy and age grade programmes doing excellent work unearthing and nurturing the region’s next generation of talent. We have seen a number of players from within the Scarlets wider community go on to become senior Scarlets as well as internationals.
“We’re also working closely with the WRU and their Exiles programme to identify Welsh qualified players who are currently residing and are educated outside of Wales.”