A RUGBY trio coming through the ranks of a local youth academy are scrum-thing special after earning regional recognition.

Greenock Wanderers youth players Ross Darroch, Greg Hopkins and Lyle Murray have played together in the club's highly regarded academy for a number of years.

Impressive performances from the prospects saw them talent-spotted to take part in a summer school where Ross and Greg made the final cut for the Glasgow and West Side.

Fifteen-year-old Ross is set to join professional outfit Glasgow Warriors for a series of matches all over the country.

The promising fullback said: "I didn't even play rugby before, I played football.

"But I was a centre half and I kept going right through players.

"It was suggested that I should give rugby a try instead!"

Ross says he's never looked back since joining team-mates Lyle and Greg on the rugby pitch.

He added: "We can't thank the coaches at Greenock Wanderers enough for all their support."

He was part of a Glasgow and West 30-man squad and they played a number of matches.

Greg said: "It was tough, the talent was incredible."

Following on from the regional matches, Ross has now been selected to be part of the Glasgow Warriors under-16s squad.

He will be part of the team to face Edinburgh in the Junior 1872 Cup at Broadwood Stadium in October, followed by trips to play the under-16 sides of Cardiff Blues in Wales and English giants Saracens in London.

As part of the Wanderers set-up the lads train three times a week and play on a Sunday.

The academy was established to try to find new talent which could filter into the Fort Matilda first team.

Vice president and coach Steven Haldane said: "There are no schools in Inverclyde with a rugby team so we had to do something about it ourselves.

"We set up a partnership with Active Schools and we have our own youth academy.

"We are now seeing the likes of our first 15 player Andrew Graham breaking through.

"It has been very successful.

"The challenge for us now is to keep the likes of Ross, Greg and Lyle playing for our club.

"We are very proud of their achievements."

Lyle said: "The coaching at Greenock Wanderers is brilliant and we have a great team."