DUNFERMLINE Rugby Club are stepping up their efforts to offer youngsters an opportunity to play the sport with a double appointment.

The McKane Park outfit, who already have a thriving youth section and a senior women's team, have appointed Matthew Wilson as their rugby development officer, and Rowan McNeil to lead on a girls' school development project.

In a role that is funded jointly by the club and Scottish Rugby, Matthew, 21, will be given responsibility to facilitate, deliver and support the development and sustainability of programmes within both local schools and the club.

After beginning his journey when in Primary 3, Matthew has remained with Dunfermline for the last 14 years, progressing through the colts to the senior men's section, where he remains a regular feature for the first XV at outside centre.

As well as earning a UKCC Level Two qualification in rugby coaching, he qualified last year with an HND from Edinburgh College in Coaching and Developing Sport, and has been coaching Dunfermline's minis section.

Matthew, who is now in his final year at Abertay University studying for an honours degree and in Sports Development and Coaching, said: "I'm very excited to take on a new role with the club as the development officer.

"To now be in a position to take the knowledge and skills I've learned over the years to give back to the club is very special.

"I'm really looking forward to being able to play a part in reviving rugby in local schools, encouraging children of all ages and abilities to develop their core skills and help them grow a passion for a sport that has so much to offer."

Rowan, 28, will be tasked with leading an initiative to engage with more young girls to take up the sport, which she herself has been playing for six years.

A football and hockey player at school, she is currently playing in the Tennent's Premiership – Scotland's highest women's level – for Stirling County, and is a dual-registered player for Dunfermline, fitting into their forward pack.

The project that Rowan, who also coaches the club's girls' section, will lead begins in the New Year, and has also been funded by Scottish Rugby as part of its 'Return to Rugby' fund, which launched earlier this year to support clubs across Scotland with the reintroduction of rugby following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Storie, Dunfermline Rugby Club's president, commented: "We are thrilled to welcome Matthew and Rowan on board as new members of the Dunfermline RFC development team.

"To be able to have these two passionate and enthusiastic individuals who know the game so well, come in to lend their experience and knowledge to help grow the game at the club is hugely exciting.

"We are very grateful to Scottish Rugby for providing us with the funding to allow us to enhance our connections within local schools and develop our rugby offering more widely in our community."

Mark Dobson, former Dunfermline head coach and Caledonia Midlands regional manager with Scottish Rugby, added: "It's fantastic to see Dunfermline RFC, along with other clubs in Fife, utilising funding and partnership initiatives to further develop rugby in their local community."