BORDERER Monroe Job is one three promising Scottish Rugby players who have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to embark on a playing experience in South Africa.

The trio of Job, Heriot’s fly-half Guy Kirkpatrick and Kettering’s Callum Smyth have been awarded the coveted John Macphail Rugby Scholarship.

They left on Monday (January 23) to spend five months immersed in South Africa’s renowned rugby culture at the high-performance training facility at Stellenbosch University.

Raised in Selkirk, back-rower Job has been involved in the Scottish Rugby pathway from under-14s and has gone on the play for both Scotland Under-16s and Under-17s. He currently plays for Selkirk’s first team.

The Macphail Scholarship was established in 2005, as a partnership between The Robertson Trust and Scottish Rugby.

Border Telegraph: Monrow Job - Photo Scottish Rugby

Created in memory of ex-Scotland Internationalist John Macphail (1949-1951), the scholarship was developed for talented young players but has also supported coaches, including Mike Blair and Kenny Murray.

The scholarship last ran in 2020 when Mikey Heron, Cole Lamberton, Adam Scott travelled to South Africa but their stay was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous recipients of the scholarship include current Scotland players Grant Gilchrist (2011), George Turner (2011), Jonny Gray (2012) and Finn Russell (2013).

The latest group of players become the 16th set of recipients of a programme.

Job said: “I’m really excited. It’s five months of rugby, two months pre-season then three months of games. So I’ll be training with the boys in the gym and we’ll see what happens.”

Scottish Rugby technical & operations director Stephen Gemmell said: “Our partnership with The Robertson Trust and Macphail family is invaluable and gives us the opportunity to send three of our most promising young players to a world class playing environment in South Africa to immerse themselves in a fresh challenge with promising players from different countries and cultures.”

“Unfortunately our 2020 group’s visit to Stellenbosch Academy of Sport was cut short due to the pandemic but this year’s cohort will follow in their footsteps where they will be exposed to an environment that will undoubtedly accelerate their development.

“The scholarship has a proven track record of playing a key part in the careers of established professional and international players and we have high hopes for the next set of players who will benefit hugely from this experience.”

Jim McCormick, CEO of the Robertson Trust, said: “The John Macphail Scholarship has proved to be instrumental in the development of some of the brightest player and coach prospects in Scotland and The Robertson Trust is incredibly proud to have been part of that journey. The remaining funding allocated from our previous strategy, held over due to the pandemic, will now be used to fund the scholarship in 2023 and 2024.

“All at The Robertson Trust, along with the Macphail family, would like to wish Guy, Monroe and Callum the best of luck, not just for their time in South Africa but as their careers develop.

“I am sure they will all gain a lot from the life-changing opportunities the scholarship offers and I look forward to following their progress.”