IF at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.

It is a motto the Scottish Rugby Union seems to have taken to heart as it makes its latest attempt at getting its development programme for up-and-coming players right.

If it works, there should be a production line of talent to drive future international campaigns like the World Cup, now only 82 days away, and fuel the drive for rugby to become the most consistently successful sport in Scotland; if it fails, like all that have gone before, then it is back to make-do and muddle.

The man who has the job of making the new academy system - launched at a presentation to the intake of players and their families at Murrayfield yesterday - work is Stephen Gemmell, and he promises this time it will be different.

"I'm hugely confident," he said. "I expect it to work and it needs to work. I am accountable for that and understand that; I don't have excuses round the resources that have been made available but I would not have taken on board the opportunity to do this had it not been that this is the most excited I have ever been about a development programme. We have quality staff and excellent facilities. There is talent there and I need to make it work."

The first tranche will bring 87 players, both male and female, into four academies based in Aberdeen University, Broadwood campus in Cumbernauld, Napier University in Edinburgh and at the Heriot -Watt campus in Galashiels. With girls fully integrated into the system for the first time, the effect on the women's game, in particular, could be dramatic.

Together with their families, they were all at Murrayfield yesterday to attend a briefing on how the system will work, including a question and answer session with the likes of Stuart Hogg, pictured, and Jonny Gray as players who have only recently emerged from the development system but are already making their mark at the highest level of the sport.

"This is huge," Gemmell said. "It is good to see the foundations being brought to fruition and now the hard work really starts. It is new, it is different. I am delighted with the partnerships that have come on board. When you look at what we have got for rugby in Scotland, it is massive. We have taken ownership of our own destiny."

Developing young talent in Scotland has been a sorry tale of woe for the last 20 years since the sport went professional and people realised they needed something better than clubs buying in a few weights and offering the youngsters the chance to use them. District academies; a national academy, individual development programmes, they have all been tried and every one has foundered.

The presence of WP Nel and Josh Strauss in the wider training squad for this year's Rugby World Cup before they had finished qualifying for Scotland on residential grounds is testament to how badly the previous development programme has failed. Without the native-born talent, the national coaches had little option about bringing in the best they could find from abroad.

The future, said Scott Johnson, the director of rugby, should be a lot more organised. "It is something I am passionate about, there is no doubt about that," he said. "I want to see young players coming through the system. I also want to see the development of the game; I want it to be the dominant sport in Scotland. If we can make a difference to make Scotland better at all levels, that is pretty rewarding."

For the players themselves, it is an exciting opportunity to make sure they give themselves the best possible chance of making it to the big time. "It backs everything up," said Matt Fagerson, whose older brother Zander is a cornerstone of the Under-20 side and has already played several games for Glasgow Warriors. "We have got good coaching at school but it is not personalised for our own individual needs. Now each player has his own strength and conditioning coach, his own physio, while working on technique and skills. It ties it all together."