Ross Sutherland youth player Gregor McPherson named in Caledonia select for Scottish Rugby's Under-16 Regional Championships alongside fellow Dingwall Academy pupil Rory Lee
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
One Ross Sutherland youngster has been selected to represent the Caledonia region in the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Regional Championship.
Gregor McPherson, a pupil at Dingwall Academy, was nominated by his club for the player development hub in the Caledonian Hub, which had one base in Garioch and one at Highland Rugby Club in Inverness.
From there, the teenager progressed to the regional trials in Dundee which featured players from both hubs, and he impressed enough to earn his spot in the final under-16 Caledonia squad.
Now, McPherson will embark on a six-week training programme in Dundee with a view to playing matches against the other Scottish regions in Stirling, Dalziel and Galashiels across the end of July and start of August.
Usually featuring at full back or centre, McPherson has been playing rugby since he was five and his two younger brothers are also in the Ross Sutherland system.
Mum Linsey says rugby-mad Gregor was very excited to get through confirmation of his place in the squad, but he will not get carried away.
"I think 10 boys from Ross Sutherland got nominated through the player development hubs," Linsey explained.
"There were four Monday nights in Inverness, and in the final days at Highland, Gordonstoun and Sheddocksley in Aberdeen, they were put into teams to play against each other.
"Cameron Hughes, who is the schools' development officer for Scottish Rugby, had a meeting with the academy managers to split the boys into red, amber and green, and from there the boys were selected and ready to go.
"We've just had three weeks between Dundee, Caledonia North and Caledonia Midlands, up against boys from all the private schools, and they were cutting the numbers down from 93 to 50 so we had a nervous wait but he got the email through on Thursday night to say he was in. He was absolutely delighted.
"For the next six weeks, they train on Wednesdays and Fridays in Dundee, and then on the fourth, fifth and sixth weeks they've got matches on the Sunday as well.
"Gregor is very excited. He just loves it – every spare moment he has he's watching rugby on TV. He's dyslexic, he gets on all right at school but this is the big thing for him.
"I'm sure he would like to play for Scotland, but he's quite grounded and realistic, so he wants to be a PE teacher. He does know that this stage is hard, and that he could get through this but go no further, but he's just absolutely delighted."
McPherson is not the only Dingwall Academy pupil to be included in the Caledonia select.
He will be joined by S4 pupil Rory Lee, who plays for Highland Rugby Club.