A YOUNG Greenock rugby player who is starring for sides at home and in Russia is being given cash backing to help his development.

Ross Darroch, 17, who plays with the Greenock Wanderers Under-18s team, has also been able to play for Russian side CSKA Moscow, because of dual nationality.

His mum Olga, who has lived in Greenock for almost 20 years, comes from Irkutsk in Siberia.

The Tele reported on his trip to Russia earlier this year as he told how he was determined to pursue the chance because his sport is so big in the country and enjoys a great set-up.

The full-back, who has also represented the Under-16s Scotland Blues, was given the chance to play for the Russian Under-18s and also to take part in a prestigious tournament.

The talented teenager not only reached the semi-finals of the Russian under-18 National Rugby 7s Championships, but also finished a top try scorer.

Now back home he has been awarded a £300 cash boost from the Inverclyde Sports Personality Grants scheme to help further his career.

It was presented to Ross by scheme organisers Chris Jewell from New Horizons, Sharon Gardiner of West College Scotland and David McCorkindale from Inverclyde Leisure.

Ross said: "I am very grateful to receive this award.

"It will be of great help to me in developing my rugby fitness and skills.

"I would like to thank the organisers of the grant scheme for making this possible."

The money will help fund part of the cost of new boots and training equipment for Ross.

The Inverclyde Sports Personality Grant scheme is funded from any surpluses from the annual Inverclyde Sports Personality Awards, now in their eleventh year.

Grants are available to individual sportspeople for up to 60 per cent of expenditure needed as part of an athlete’s development up to a maximum of £300 per grant.

Full details of the grant scheme can be found at www.inverclydesportspersonality.com