Carson aiming for surge in youth participation following Scots visit

Highland head coach Davie Carson.
Highland head coach Davie Carson.

Highland head coach Davie Carson hopes the Scotland national team’s training visit to Canal Park can spark further participation within the club’s youth setup.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has taken his 42-man squad to the Inverness outfit’s 3G facility where he has overseen training sessions over the last two days, as he builds towards the Rugby World Cup in Japan which starts in September.

A tartan touch event was held at the ground for first year pupils yesterday, involving more than 170 children from 15 Highland schools as far afield as Thurso, Gairloch and Lochaber.

Having set out an aim to produce 75% of Highland’s starting 15 through the club’s academy by 2025, Carson hopes Scotland’s visit can have an inspirational effect.

Carson said: “It’s great to get something like this here prior to the World Cup.

“The players have all come up here and enjoyed using the facilities from what they have said.

“From speaking to Gregor Townsend earlier in the week he is very down to earth and willing to chat about rugby. We just have to try and learn what we can from these guys.

“It’s a big draw having the Scottish squad down, and especially with 15 schools being down. We have really got to tap into that now.

“We have to try to encourage more of them to come down and get them playing for the club teams in mini competitions.

“Our development officer Iain Chisholm is trying to get that, but it would be great if we could make this a regular occurrence and push to get those 15 schools to come down once a month.”