Rugby Camp

Merchiston’s Summer Rugby Camp 2019

We are delighted to announce that next year’s rugby camp will run from Sunday 21 July 2019 to Friday 26 July 2019.

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Our rugby camp is professionally designed and tailored to meet the individual development needs of every player.

Our progressive programme includes:

  • Individual skill and unit development sessions
  • Game and positional understanding
  • Video analysis i.e. goal kicking techniques
  • Strength & conditioning, fitness and injury prevention workshops
  • Nutritional and lifestyle seminars
  • Leadership and team building activities

“This rugby camp experience will kick start your season and allow you to hit the ground running!” Roddy Deans, Director of Rugby and Scotland U16 Head Coach.

We welcome players from around the world; however, we expect attendees to have a good level of English. English is not taught as part of the course. This camp is recommended for boys who have prior rugby experience. We are unable to accept childcare vouchers as this is a sports coaching week.

If you have any enquiries regarding the camp please call Kay or Heather on +44 131 312 2231 or email

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“My son enjoyed the variety of training and thoroughly enjoyed his week – it was a fantastic experience and he has made some good friends as well.”

“The quality and friendliness of the coaches was excellent.”

“My son really enjoyed the high level of coaching and the visit from Hamish Watson!”

“There was great attention to detail and good positive coaching, combined with a good all round environment.”

“He most enjoyed staying residentially with his teammates.”

“It was brilliant – I hope to go next year again!”

“Constructive and inspiring performance analysis.”

“My son enjoyed the lectures the most as he feels he is more educated about the game and how his body performs.”

“Level of professionalism is higher at Merchiston than other rugby camps.”

“More professional drills and a pro athlete mind-set compared to other camps.”

Zach Mercer (Bath & England U20)

“Attending Merchiston allowed me to really focus on my academic and rugby performance.  I feel the School manages to get the balance right, with all pupils flourishing on and off the field.   The rugby programme was an ideal stepping stone for professional rugby as it allowed me to train and play at a consistently high level; playing the likes of Sedbergh and Millfield was a real challenge, which really supplemented my development.  Roddy Deans was also my coach at Scotland Under 16: he is a very knowledgeable teacher who manages to get the best out of every individual with his open, positive and encouraging approach.”

Read more about Zach here from an interview with Rugby World.

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh & Scotland U20)

“I have worked with David Blair over the last three rugby seasons, doing one-on-one kicking sessions and covering all types of kicking: goal kicking, drop kicking and punting, to name but a few. He has been a real help in improving my kicking distance and accuracy but he has also worked with me on my mental approach to goal kicking by helping me develop a routine so that I can cope in pressure situations during games.  David also used iPad footage during our sessions, which allowed me to watch my kicking in slow motion. He would be able to pin point exactly what I needed to work on. David is a really great and easy going guy to work with and I enjoyed every session with him. He has been a great support to me.”

Teaching staff

The camp will be led by Roddy Deans and David Blair from Merchiston Castle School.

Roddy Deans BSc
Director of Rugby

Roddy Deans is passionate about rugby, having been brought up in the Borders and having strong rugby traditions running through his family.  He has already amassed over 20 years of rugby development experience.   He possesses vast knowledge and understanding of how to develop young players from a primary age through to national performance rugby players.

He has worked for the Scottish Rugby Union as Edinburgh’s Rugby Development Officer.  Within this role, he coached Edinburgh Pathway teams at U14 & U15 levels and Edinburgh U16, U17 & U18.  Roddy has also coached Hawick RFC and Heriot’s RFC in the Scottish Premiership.  As a player, he also captained both teams and won the Scottish Premiership, Border League and Scottish Cup at both Clubs.  Roddy has been coaching the Scotland U16 team for five seasons and was Head Coach for two years.  He has a proven track record of identifying, coaching and mentoring many current professional players and Scotland internationalists.

Roddy comments: “I fully believe development can be accelerated through the environment you create as a coach.  Through my experience as a teacher, coach and parent, I feel we can create the perfect learning environment to allow every child the opportunity to express himself and further develop.”


David Blair BSc

Assistant Director of Rugby

David Blair possesses a real rugby pedigree and is at the cutting edge of the game when it comes to professional experience and rugby knowledge. He enjoyed a very successful playing career spanning over 8 years; playing for Sale, Edinburgh, Scotland A (14 caps) and the Barbarians. Over the years, he has amassed a vast amount of rugby intelligence and developed a fine eye for detail, which is allowing all our players to further develop.

He remains Scotland’s highest point scorer at U21 level in the RBS 6 Nations, a record which bodes very well for our boys, who have the perfect model performer and role model to look up to. David has a real passion for developing and coaching the basic skills of the game and has a proven track record of coaching many current professional and international players.


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