Stewart’s Melville RFC Lioness weekend training has seen two Heriot’s Blues palyers oversee sessions as guest coaches.

About 15 players, aged from 8 to 15 recently took part in the hour-long practice held by Catriona Syme and Pearl Kellie, which involved fun games to develop passing and contact skills.

Both Blues Women players were part of the team to win the 2019 National League Division 1 title, with Catriona, the first Captain of the side after it was established in 2018.

As work continues at Heriot’s Rugby Club to establish a strong pathway for girls into senior rugby and the partnership with Stewart’s Melville RFC continues to remain important in developing talent.

“Cat, myself and a number of other Heriot’s Blues Women players have volunteered to help develop and grow rugby for girls.” Pearl said.

“The pathway at Heriot’s is still in the development phase and we have been working to increase the attendance numbers by reaching out to schools and linking up with other girl’s rugby programmes in North Edinburgh.’’

Catriona – a George Heriot’s School alumni – started playing the sport at Goldenacre with the Heriot’s Rugby Club mini rugby programme, said, “First and foremost, it’s just so great to see girls having a fun time and enjoying rugby training.”

“We would like to see Heriot’s Blues Women become one the best teams in Scotland, and aim to bring more silverware back to Goldenacre and maintain a very high standard. Developing younger players who will play for us in the future is a big part of that vision.’’

Catriona Syme (far left) and Pearl Kellie after weekend training with the Stewart’s Melville RFC Lionesses

Both players believe that rugby develops younger players on and off the pitch.

“It’s an exciting and fun game, which will improve fitness and confidence. It encourages teamwork, trust in your fellow players and the teammates you play with will become some of your best friends.” Catriona said.

“What I love most about rugby and what I think separates it from other team sports is how it celebrates all different sizes and abilities. No matter your size, shape or ability there is a role in the game that you can excel at.” Pearl said.