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Melrose stand-off joins the exodus to France

Two members of the Scotland Under-20 squad which finished 10th at the IRB Junior World Cham­pionship in New Zealand last weekend will play in France next season.

Ben Chalmers is one of six foreign players heading for the Bordeaux-Begles Academy. The 19-year-old Melrose stand-off joins three New Zealanders, an Australian and a Fijian as new signings at the club which has been drawn in the same pool as Edinburgh in the European Challenge Cup.

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The club's president, Laurent Marti, has not ruled out the possibility of Chalmers facing Edinburgh. "It's a recruitment for the future, but we know that the youngsters could be involved with the pro squad this season," he said.

Meanwhile, lock Andy Cramond has been signed by Toulon for their academy side. The 6ft 5in, 20-year-old played with RHC Cougars and the BATS youth side based in Edinburgh before joining Aberdeen Grammar when he moved to study at Robert Gordon University.

Elsewhere, Adam Sinclair, a 21-year-old second-row who has spent the past two seasons with Perpignan Academy after moving from Stirling County, has signed a full contract with second-tier side SC Albi.

Fifteen new recruits - seven joining Edinburgh Rugby and eight going to Glasgow Warriors - have been named by Scottish Rugby as elite development players for the forthcoming season.

The newcomers include Scotland Under-20 captain Tommy Spinks, who returns north from London Scottish, and three of the George Watson's College side that won the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Under-18 Cup, captain Ally Miller, Jake Kerr and Ben Robbins. The net has been cast wide with No.8-turned-prop Callum Sheldon from Kirby Lonsdale in Cumbria featuring, as does Glenn Bryce, the brother of recently capped Glasgow Warriors and Scotland hooker, Kevin Bryce, a former Scotland Under-20 cap who has played for both Jersey and Doncaster.

Stephen Gemmell, Scottish Rugby's Head of Performance Development, said: "You just need to look at Matt Scott and Dougie Fife at Edinburgh Rugby or Jonny Gray and Adam Ashe at Glasgow Warriors as examples of what players who really commit to the programme can go on to achieve."

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