THREE former Knox Academy pupils are getting ready to represent Scotland at a rugby event in Spain.

Josh Nisbet, Josh Rogers and Leo Washington-Mackay are part of the Scotland team taking part in the Festival of Inclusive Rugby.

The trio are members of Edinburgh Clan, which was established in 2014 and is part of Trust Rugby International.

The club, based at the home of Corstorphine Cougars, play unified rugby where players with and without disabilities play full contact rugby using modified rules.

The three men, who all stay in Haddington, have Down’s syndrome and are looking forward to the trip to Spain, with the group leaving today (Friday).

Helen Nisbet, mum of Josh, is secretary of the Edinburgh Clan. She said: “All three of the boys are quite big rugby fans but never dreamed that they would be able to play.

“There were always concerns about injuries and the lack of understanding of the rules and ability to play a team game.

“The Clan was established in Ayrshire in 2012 and it was an NHS project to improve the health of people with a disability through sport. Rugby was chosen and they set up a pilot study, which was really successful.

“The team established was kept going in Ayrshire and they started another team in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Now, teams have been set up in the Borders and Grampian areas as well.”

The sport involves players with disabilities playing alongside able-bodied players, known as enablers.

The enablers, who include players from other teams that want to give something back to the sport and players who have suffered various injuries, assist the more vulnerable players to play their best game.

Ahead of the trip to Cullera, south of Valencia, Josh Rogers (29), Josh Nisbet (22) and Leo (17) held a fundraising event in Haddington’s Tesco store.

In total, they collected more than £870, which will go towards covering the cost of the trip.

As well as rugby, the four-day event includes a social programme, featuring dancing and a paella-making competition.

The Scottish team, which features 20 players along with parents and coaching staff, is making the trip to Spain for the third time and players will be integrated into different teams for the event.

Helen said: “They just love being able to play.

“There are benefits to their health, their confidence and decision-making – it goes into all areas of their lives really.

“It has also opened doors for them – they have made a lot of new friends, especially with the enablers.”