Lewis welcomed a pair of Scottish rugby legends to her shores this week as Scotland’s cap and points’ record-holder, Chris Paterson, and fellow former Scotland captain Alastair Kellock, both Scottish Rugby ambassadors, visited the isles.
The pair delivered a hat-trick of well attended training sessions during their two day visit.
The first with 22 under 18 and under 16 boys from the Nicolson Institute; another with the senior Stornoway Rugby Club and a third with 36 pupils from the S1 and S2 Nicolson Institute School of Rugby, with assistance from S5 pupils.
They also autographed photos for all those who attended and presented signed Scotland tops to the NI School of Rugby and Stornoway RFC.
During their Hebridean visit the Scottish Rugby legends also stopped in to visit Macleod and Macleod Butchers where the business owner Kenneth Macleod, an ex SYRFC player himself, and was delighted to receive a visit from the Scottish Rugby group, who were looking to sample some Stornoway Black Pudding.
The visit across the Minch also heralded a new partnership between Scottish Rugby is and Harris Tweed where an official new SRU design was unveiled.
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, said: “Scottish Rugby is keen to work with iconic, world-renowned Scottish brands and the opportunity to partner with Harris Tweed, which is recognised globally as a quality product, is one that we are very excited about.
“In the global market place in which we operate, it’s important that we can extend the international dimension of Scottish Rugby and generate awareness of our brand.
“Harris Tweed has significant international markets in the likes of Japan and the United States, which are both key territories for us in broadening our wider supporter base.”
The new exclusive design – modelled by Chris Paterson, and Alastair Kellock, both Scottish Rugby ambassadors – was a collaboration between Scottish Rugby, Harris Tweed Hebrides and the retailer Walker Slater.
Ken Kennedy, head designer at Harris Tweed Hebrides in Shawbost, Isle of Lewis, has created bespoke tweed working from a brief to incorporate navy, purple and green, the familiar colours of Scottish Rugby. The resultant check pattern has won the seal of approval from both Paterson and Kellock.
Kellock said: “Harris Tweed is a fabric for all occasions and I believe it’s a real coup to have a design which includes the colours of our international players’ tie as well as our officially registered Scottish Rugby tartan.
“The beauty of this is that it works, whether you’re a traditionalist or after something that’s new and eye-catching.”
The new design will be available in the Walker Slater stores in Edinburgh and London as well as their e-commerce site: www.walkerslater.com
Brian Wilson, chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: “This is a very natural partnership between two iconic brands which will help Scotland’s discerning rugby followers to wear the colours and support the team in style.”