Three players who have been identified as being among the brightest talents in their generation of rugby players have become the latest to get the chance to follow in the footsteps of current Scotland captain John Barclay.

He was the first player to be awarded the John Macphail Rugby Scholarship when it was introduced in 2005, earning his first Scotland cap two years after taking up the opportunity it provided to immerse himself in his sport during a four month trip to Canterbury in New Zealand.

Others who benefited from that experience in the interim have included Grant Gilchrist, another man who has captained his country and fellow members of the current Scotland squad Jonny Gray and Finn Russell.

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The latest batch - Dundee HSFP’s Angus Fraser, Biggar’s Guy Kelly and Andrew Jardine from Melrose - will be the first to head to South Africa, bound for another rugby heartland in Stellenbosch.

The three youngsters all described themselves as honoured to have been selected, with Fraser noting that they can draw considerable inspiration from those who have gone before them.

“You just look at that list,,” he said. “Even the boys who have been on it recently like Paddy Kelly (one of last year’s recipients) who has just got his first contract at Glasgow. That’s what we’re all aspiring to go on and do.”