Lions mentor Scots

A host of former Lions will be helping Scotland's next generation of players achieve their potential this year. [more]

Lions mentor Scots

A host of former Lions will be helping Scotland’s next generation of players achieve their potential this year.

A total of 35 of Scotland’s most-promising players will be involved in the second year of the Winning Mentors scheme, which sees ex-internationals pass on advice and offer their expertise in a one-on-one basis.

And this year’s scheme has been given even more credence with the high-profile nature of many of the mentors.

An impressive list includes 17 Lions tourists, with victorious 1989 tour captain Finlay Calder leading the way.

Also involved in the scheme are legendary Lions prop Ian McLauchlan and the Lions’ leading points scorer in South Africa, Andy Irvine.

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Fellow Lions David Sole, Colin Deans, Kenny Milne, Gordon Bulloch, John Jeffrey, Jim Calder, Rob Wainwright, Roy Laidlaw, Scott Hastings, John Rutherford, Roger Baird and Tony Stanger have all put their weight behind the initiative, as have 2005 Lion Chris Cusiter and 2009 tourist Ross Ford, with the later having already experienced the mentoring scheme first-hand.

Former All Black skipper Sean Fitzpatrick is another star name among the mentors, with the Kiwi set to work with Ford for the second year in a row.

“I’m amazed by the willingness and enthusiasm the mentors have invested in this programme over the past year,” said the programme’s co-ordinator Gregor Townsend, himself a former Lion.

“It’s clear that the players who have driven the relationship forward are the ones who are reaping the benefits in their performance and their overall learning.”

Those sentiments were echoed by 1989 Lion John Jeffrey who accepted an invitation to offer his services to Scotland A back row Scott Newlands over the coming months.

“My philosophy on the programme is that it’s very much driven by the player,” explained Jeffrey.

“I can offer things from my experience, act as a sounding board, give Scott position-specific advice, or talk about leadership.

“But it also has to be relevant and beneficial to him. I’m absolutely delighted to be asked to become involved and, as former internationalists, if we can help develop players to win for Scotland, then that’s something we can also take pride in.”

Full list of mentors and their protégés

Ian McLauchlan – Moray Low
David Sole – Kyle Traynor*
George Graham – Lewis Niven*
Sean Fitzpatrick – Ross Ford
Gordon Bulloch – Finlay Gillies*
Colin Deans – Fergus Thomson
Kenny Milne – Fraser Brown
Stuart Grimes – Richie Gray
John Jeffrey – Scott Newlands*
Graham Marshall – Alan MacDonald*
Finlay Calder – Chris Fusaro
Jim Calder – Richie Vernon
Rob Wainwright – Johnnie Beattie
Stuart Reid – Stuart McInally
Fergus Wallace – Calum Forrester*
Cameron Mather – Roddy Grant*
Andy Nicol – Greig Laidlaw
Roy Laidlaw – Peter Jericevich
John Rutherford – Alex Blair
Jim Renwick – John Houston
Scott Hastings – Ben Cairns
Ian Jardine – Rob Dewey*
Tony Stanger – Max Evans
Iwan Tukalo – Mark Robertson*
Roger Baird – Thom Evans
Rowen Shepherd – Jim Thompson
Andy Irvine – Rory Lamont

Mentors for Academy players

Chris Cusiter – Murray McConnell*
Phil Godman – Gregor Hunter*
Allan Jacobsen – Colin Phillips*
Allister Hogg – Grant Gilchrist*
Alastair Kellock – Robert Harley*
Graeme Morrison – Danny Gilmour*
Ross Ford – Robin Hislop*
Chris Paterson – Tom Brown

* denotes new protégé

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