Kelvinside Academy hope old boy Richie’s pep talk will spur them on in rugby final

By Ellen Thomson at

A West End school has made it to the final of a national rugby competition.

Kelvinside Academy head to Murrayfield this week – and a famous former pupil gave them plenty of encouragement to get there.

The school’s first XV defeated Gordonstoun 31 – 7 to progress to the final of the Scottish Rugby Scottish School Shield Competition against Glasgow rivals Hutchesons’ Grammar School.

Richie Gray

Role model: Scotland international and Toulouse player Richie Gray is a former pupil of Kelvinside Academy

The match takes place at BT Murrayfield on Wednesday December 6.

The school team were inspired by a recent meeting with current Scotland international, and former pupil, Richie Gray.

The second row gave a rallying cry to the school’s first XV while they were on tour to Toulouse, where the second row is now playing his trade.

First XV captain Gavin McKirdy said: “He’s already done so much in his career and quite a few of the boys think playing professional rugby in France and walking out in front of 67,000 people at Murrayfield is certainly something to strive for.

“We really appreciate Richie spending all the time with us that he did, and introducing us to some of his fellow players like Charlie Faumuina, the All Black World Cup winning prop.”

Richie Gray

Inspiring: Richie in his playing days at Sale Sharks before moving onto play in France

David Wilson, head of sport at Kelvinside Academy, has been impressed with the team’s commitment this season.

He said: “The boys have worked extremely hard, grafting at early morning strength and conditioning sessions before school, as well as committed training sessions.

“Their team ethos has been particularly impressive – they don’t just rely on strong individual performances.”

During their French tour, Kelvinside enjoyed a strong victory against Muret RFC with a 50-19 win.

Just 24 hours later, the quick turnaround was too much and the boys fell to Balgnac RFC, former French internationalist Freddy Michalak’s current club, 24-5.