Rugby Development in Moray


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NEW DO George Whitecross

Hello there, my name is George Whitecross and I took over as the new Moray Rugby Development Officer on 9 July 2012 after leaving the RAF after nearly 29 years as a Physical Training Instructor. I have lived in Moray since 1997 and have been actively involved with the sport since I was a schoolboy as a player, coach, committee member and official. I represented Grampian schools under 16's, the RAF 1st XV, Basingstoke RFC, London Scottish, RAF Veterans and many Station and representative teams. I look forward to working with all the volunteers, coaches and officials within the schools, clubs and the game in Moray and my aim is to try and to inspire the younger generation to play more rugby and to build up a unique ethos and spirit that rugby has retained over the years. Playing the game through discipline, control, mutual self-respect & with a sense of fair play and teamwork, the sport of rugby is indeed more than just a sport. From the school playground to the Rugby World Cup Final, rugby union offers a truely unique and rewarding life-long experience of excitement and fun for all involved in the game.

If you would like to get more involved in Rugby as a player, coach, helper or official, please give me a call on 01343 563894, 07527 387549 or email me

You can even make a career out of it !!


After two and a half years as the Rugby Development Officer in Moray, James Sloggie has taken up a new opportunity with Sustrans in Kirkcaldy.
We thanks James for all his hard work promoting and delivering rugby throughout the region and he will be sorely missed.
We are currently working very hard with Moray Council and Scottish Rugby to secure the funding for a new Development Officer post.

In the meantime if you have any questions or enquiries regarding rugby in Moray please contact:
Pete Young Regional Development Manager on 07764178941 or


This summer will again see a full time table of Rugby across the moray area.

This year’s summer camps are scheduled for –

11th – 13th, of July @ Speyside High School, 0845 - 1300 (£15, P5 – S2)
18 – 20th of July @ Kinloss RFC, 0845 - 1300 (£15, P5 – S2)

As you May have heard the Scotland Rugby Camp will not be running this summer.

HOWEVER...Moray Rugby development are committed to running summer camps and for this reason will be running “The RUGBY WORLD CUP CAMP”. This will be in addition to our area camps at Speyside High School and Kinloss RFC

The camp will run the same format as previous years on the 10th, 11th and 12th of August 0845 – 1300 at Morriston playing fields, Elgin. players from P4 – S2 of any standard or experience are welcome.

Due to World cup commitments we cannot guarantee the appearance of international players but we will do our upmost to get pro team players in attendance. As we cannot guarantee this we have decided to drop the cost of the camp to a bargain price of £15 for all 3 days.

The final day of the camp will also see a best painted face and optional wig competition with the theme of “RUGBY WORLD CUP PLAYERS/TEAMS” – prizes for the best face in each age group.

For booking any of the summer camps please contact The Moray Council (Anne Young) on 01343 557143 



RAF Lossiemouth won the 2010/11 RAF Rugby Union Inter-station Cup tournament in a thrilling encounter last Wednesday - 4 May, at RAF Halton, Bucks. As the defending 2009/10 Champions the airmen were desperate to retain the trophy that they last won in 1998; however they were pushed all of the way by a combined RAF Halton/High Wycombe XV, with a final score of 31-28.
The pre-match build up was tense and a VIP line-up and national anthems just served to add to the occasion. Lossie were also denied the services of young prop, SAC Dave Manning, who was in the Combined Services U23 squad playing at Twickenham, and so for just one more game, club stalwart Chf Tech Neil “Snorbs” Boyd dusted off his boots. The early ebb and flow of the opening exchanges saw both sides probe for weaknesses. However, the occasion appeared to be getting the better of the Lossie side with a number of players appearing nervous. They seemed to feel that they had to win the game within the first 30 minutes as passes were forced with no opportunity evident and possession regularly turned over. Lossie suffered a cruel blow when full-back SAC Adam Cliff was upended illegally following an up-an-under. From this Halton/High Wycombe were reduced to 14 for 10 minutes, but Lossie were denied a critical player for the remainder of the fixture. No. 8 SAC Lance Tallett, however was having a stormer, leading from the front and was instrumental in everything Lossie did. It was therefore little suprise that it was Tallet who claimed the first score after 28 mins following some good ball retention. SAC Brad Cooke converted 7-0. Halton/High Wycombe replied immediately, with some good ball retention of their own and following some swift interplay between half-backs and a missed tackle or 2 from Lossie, went over for a converted try. 7 – 7. The Scottish side replied with centres Cooke & Flt Lt Winn-Morgan prominent. Following a break in midfield, Lossie scrum-half Dave Cooper cleverly moved play one way then the other. No 8, Tallet appearing in support again to crash over in the corner. Cooke again converted to make it 14 – 7 at half-time.

Lossiemouth came out of the half-time break and instead of gripping the game, sat back and allowed Halton/High Wycombe more possession and time on the ball. The Buckinghamshire side missed 2 successive penalty kicks which would have brought the scores back to within a point. Lossie eventually came out of their half-time slumber with some possession and territory of their own. Good interplay between the back line and some clever variation from fly-half, SAC Mike “donut” Lee, saw the Scottish side camp in the opposition 22m. SAC Chris Clarke, now playing from full-back to cover for the injured Cliff, was playing superbly and time and again picked a clean line to puncture the opposition back line. It was from one such move that Lossie scored again, Clarke picking an exquisite angle to go in untouched wide on the right. Cooke converted for 21 – 7. Yet, Halton/High Wycombe were not finished and showed the form that resulted in their successful cup run. Good interplay and some strong defence from them seemed to stun Lossiemouth and they had the upper hand for the next 15 minute period. The strong defensive foundations of the Lossie side seemed to desert them as they conceded 2 tries in quick succession. Suddenly the scores were 21-21 with 15 minutes to play. Back came Lossie and Cooke stepped up to convert a rangey penalty, 24 – 21. However, the nerves were again in evidence from the reigning champions and Halton/High Wycombe smelt blood. Back they came and following some clever ball handling and sound retention, crossed in the corner for a try to go into the lead for the first time. This was converted for 24 – 28 with 6 minutes or so remaining. Lossiemouth have however got used to winning over the last 2 years or so. Veterans Cooper and Boyd along with Captain SAC Robbie Little came to the fore, controlling possession with ruck, maul and drive to drag Lossie upfield. No.8 Tallet came close to gaining his hat-trick but the final pass just wouldn’t stick. A scrum on the 22m was driven back by Lossie and the Halton/High Wycombe scrum retreated at a rate of knots. Just as Lossie seemed sure to score a pushover try the scrum was collapsed. The referee had no choice but to award a penalty try. Lossie converted to win the match with 2 minutes to spare and sending the small contingent who had made the long journey south into delirium. Final score 31 – 28.

This victory marked the 3rd time that the RAF’s most northerly Station has won this trophy in its 91 year history. For Cooper and Boyd, who played in the 1998 and 2010 victories this must surely mark the end of long distinguished playing careers in service to both Lossiemouth and the wider RAF rugby community. Yet, the future of the side looks solid with the likes of Pinch, Emerson, Little and Cooke surely going to be central in the forthcoming RL season and the 2011/12 union side.



RAF Lossiemouth booked their place in the 2011 RAF Inter-Station Cup Final with an impressive 20 – 8 victory over last year’s beaten finalists, RAF Odiham. Travelling with almost a full squad and confidence high after the recent quarter-final victory down at Brize Norton, the side look to be peaking at just the right stage of the season.

A rematch of the 2010 final was always going to be a lively affair; and so it proved. The early exchanges saw play switch from end to end, as the sides assessed each other. With a high number of RAF representative players on both sides there was to be no love lost; this opening was quite brutal, both sides landing some big hits and at least one set-to requiring intervention from the officials.
The referee was keen to stamp his authority on the game and, in a sign of what was to come, showed Lossie wing, “Irish” Rutherford a yellow card for killing the ball at the breakdown. Odiham landed the subsequent penalty, 0-3.

Lossie were quick to reply. Recycled possession from the kick-off and some swift handling caused Odiham to infringe, centre Brad Cook stepping up to kick the penalty and level the scores, 3-3.

The 2nd quarter of the game was some of the most effective played by Lossiemouth this season; Odiham simply had no reply. Fly half Mike “Donut” Lee changed tactics halting the rapidly advancing Odiham backline with a lovely dummy and line-break. Captain Little was close in support, whilst superb continuity from forwards Emerson, Tallett & Manning continued the Lossie attack. Wave after wave of blue pushed forward as the whole side responded. Veteran scrum-half Cooper cleverly varied the point of attack as Lossie pushed further forward. 2nd Row Emerson crashed over for the inevitable try which was converted, 10 – 3.

Lossiemouth surged forward again and odiham just couldn’t respond. Centres Cook and Winn-Morgan gave forward momentum and the Lossie loose fowards responded – Tallett & Maning again to the fore. Off 5th phase possession the ball was spread wide and some swift handling from Winn-Morgan & Rutherford put full-back Adam Cliff into the corner. Half time score 15 – 3.

The first score of the 2nd half would prove decisive and so it proved. Lossie continued where they had left off and were soon camped in the Odiham half. A sustained period of pressure should have wielded more points, but Emerson was awarded 10 mins in the sin-bin for use of the boot and Odiham escaped. Back game Lossiemouth and following a questionable decision to run a penalty, were able to work Manning into a gap for the 3rd try of the afternoon. 20 – 3.

The final quarter was one of Odiham attack and resilient Lossiemouth defence. Two more players were shown yellow cards – one of which was highly questionable as the officials seemed to give every decision to Odiham. Yet, Lossie held firm. The first up tackling was awesome and Odiham just couldn’t get over the try line. Eventually, whilst playing with only 13 players the pressure told. Odiham shipped the ball wide and worked their winger in for a well taken try. The conversion made the score 20 – 8.

The final few minutes were Lossie’s as they finally broke loose from their half and were unlucky not to score again in the final minutes.

The airmen have their final SRU Caledonia 2 NW fixture of the season against Stornaway at home on Apr 17th (KO tbc). They then look forward to defending their Inter-Station title against a combined RAF Halton/RAF High Wycombe side on 4 May at RAF Halton. As the only Scottish station to have won this trophy (1997 / 2010) they are keen to make it a hat-trick of titles.

For more information Please Contact
Rugby Development officer, James Sloggie on 01343 557147 or


Hands Up For Girls Rugby...

With the help of teachers from Elgin Academy and High School we are in  great position to start and support a girls rugby team in the area.

Training is every Thursday, 1630 - 1730 at Morriston Playing fields

No experience necessary, lots of fun guaranteed

For more information Please Contact
Rugby Development officer, James Sloggie on 01343 557147 or


Lossie Maintain Bragging Rights In Final Encounter

Saturday saw RAF Lossiemouth travel to near neighbours RAF Kinloss for a SRU Caledonia 2 NW fixture, in what will in all likelihood be the last match between the 2 bases. Kinloss have enjoyed some good form in the league this season, whilst Lossiemouth have been somewhat inconsistent. The October fixture between the 2 sides had been a cracker – Lossie winning with a last minute drop-goal; so Kinloss were hungry for revenge and an end to their 12 year long losing streak. Over 400 spectators turned out to watch as Moray’s version of the old firm derby was to be played in near perfect conditions – pleasant winter sun & little wind. The stage was set.

Lossiemouth kicked off and were soon able to establish a position in the hosts’ 22m. Both sides sparred with each other, probing to find a weakness. However, the Lossie pack reinforced by veteran prop Neil Boyd were back to their powerful best and were soon able to provide a platform for the energetic back row of Emerson, Tallett & Little to tie up the Kinloss midfield. Veteran Lossie scrum-half Dave Cooper, recently returned from a 4-month overseas Operational deployment, orchestrated wave after wave of attack, and following some good ball retention Club Captain Chris Clarke crossed for his first try of the afternoon. Kinloss replied with some decent pressure of their own, keeping the ball for a number of phases and causing Lossie to infringe in their own 22m. Kinloss successfully converted the penalty. The game then swung again as slowly Lossie began to bully the Kinloss forwards and control possesion. Some sensible variation of the point of attack, meant Lossie were able to stretch their hosts one way and then the other. Hounsell & Clark were a constant threat in midfield whilst fullback Cliff was proving to be solid in defence whenever Kinloss did manage to launch a counter-attack. Kinloss infringed just outside their 22m and Clarke stepped up to kick the ensuing penalty. Further solid play from Lossie coupled with some good ball retention allowed Adam Cliff to step inside the cover defence and score just before half-time. Score Kinloss 3 – Lossiemouth 13.

The 2nd half was dominated by the visiting side who continued to bully Kinloss up front. The hosts had their chances with some decent line breaks but whenever they looked like threatening the final pass went to ground. The majority of the half was played in Kinloss territory and from one attack, Lossie were able to recycle possession a number of times, before quick ruck ball and a beautiful pass between the legs from fly-half Mike “Donut” Lee put Clarke into space for his 2nd score of the game. Hit after hit continued to go in and a number of substitutions unsettled the flow of play. A man-of-the-match performance from scrum-half Cooper, kept Lossie in the driving seat until the final whistle. Final score Kinloss 3 – Lossiemouth 18.

The crowd had witnessed a hard fought, quality match between 2 proud & committed sides. If this was the last fixture between the Moray bases then it was a cracker and in the finest traditions of the 2 clubs.

For more information on rugby in Moray Please Contact
Rugby Development officer, James Sloggie on 01343 557147 or


Primary Festival Beats Winter Blast

Efforts to promote rugby in moray took a great leap forward when more than 240 primary pupils from the Forres associated schools group (ASG) took part in a touch rugby festival on a frosty pitch at RAF Kinloss last week (25th November 2010).

Nine schools competed in the festival arranged by Rugby Development Officer, James Sloggie and active schools coordinator Paul Rogan.

The event was the culmination of a term of curricular rugby union sessions in the schools to promote the sport.
The pupils, teachers and team coaches were scored on their sports-manship and conduct as well as on their skills during the games.
Dyke Primary School was the overall winner with a total of 24 teams of P6/7 competed for their schools.

This season around 1000 primary pupils will take part in school rugby festivals across the Moray region.
Mr Sloggie added "We always have really positive feedback from all of our schools. the pupils really look forward to the rugby sessions and the participation and play is always to hugely impressive standard.

For more information on rugby in Moray Please Contact
Rugby Development officer, James Sloggie on 01343 557147 or



01343 821784



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Rugby Development Officer | Commerce House Annexe, South Street, Elgin, IV30 1JE | Tel: 01343 557147 | Mob: 07527 387549 |