Scottish Rugby today announced the name of its team that will be drawn from its National Academy and two professional teams to compete in the new British & Irish Cup.
The new team will be called Gael Force and it will represent Scotland alongside last season’s Scottish Hydro Premier Division 1 champions Ayr and reigning Scottish Hydro Cup holders Heriot’s in the new cross border competition.
Gael Force will be sponsored by Spire Murrayfield Hospital, Scottish Rugby’s official healthcare partner.
Stephen Gemmell, Scottish Rugby’s National Academy Manager, said: “We felt it was important that the team had its own identity entering this new competition so we’ve chosen a name that links to our Scottish roots and that we think is dynamic and vibrant.
“Gael Force will be chosen from the ranks of our National Academy players and will be supplemented from players within our two pro-team squads, Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors, who are not figuring in Magners League action during games in the British and Irish Cup.’’
Gemmell will act as head coach for the new team and will be assisted by the 18-times capped former Scotland back Graham Shiel and the 11-times capped erstwhile Scotland hooker Stevie Scott. Shiel is a National Academy coach and Scott is a Scottish Rugby specialist coach.
Gael Force will play their home games in the shadow of the Wallace Monument at Stirling County RFC’s Bridgehaugh ground.
Ray Mountford, Stirling County president, said: “Stirling County are pleased that Scottish Rugby has chosen Bridgehaugh to be the home of Gael Force in the British & Irish Cup. We are rightly proud of our facilities and our reputation for developing young Scottish players is well known. I am sure the people of Stirling will show great interest and give strong support when these games are played in our city next spring.”