Scotland have made three changes from their side that suffered defeat to Italy last week ahead of Friday night’s game against Ireland.
Head Coach Carl Hogg has made two changes in the back and one in the backs in a bid to freshen things up following the 32-22 home defeat to the Italians.
In the pack Sale Sharks’ Ewan Ashman comes in for the injured Finlay Scott at hooker, while Charlie Jupp moves from the second row to blindside flanker, which brings Cameron Henderson into the second row and moves The Lions’ Kwagga Van Niekirk into the number 8 shirt.
Van Niekirk and Ashman are two of four Scottish Exiles in the pack, the others being Henderson’s second row partner Ewan Johnson, of Racing 92, and Leicester Tigers loosehead Sam Grahamslaw. Stirling County’s tighthead, Murphy Walker, and skipper Connor Boyle, at openside, complete the pack.
The only change in the backline sees Rufus McLean come in for Ollie Smith at full back. The rest remains unchanged, including former Wellington College man Rory McMichael on the right wing, with clubmate Jack Blain on the left.
Once again it is an all Exiles centre partnership of Complutense Cisernos’ Robbie McCallum and Wasps’ Cameron Anderson, while Roan Frostwick is at scrum half with vice captain Ross Thompson, making his 12th appearance, at fly half.
The bench also sees a couple of Scottish Exiles included, Bristol Bears’ Nathan Chamberlain and London Scottish’s Matt Davidson covering most of the backline. Klye McGhie covers scrum half. The pack is covered by Angus Fraser, Andrew Nimmo, Euan McLaren, Ross Bundy, and Jack Mann.
Speaking to Scottish Rugby upon announcing his side, Carl Hogg said: “I thought we came into the opening game of the Six Nations Championship with a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm.”
“The key thing is being able to harness that emotion and passion, along with the process required to deliver a winning performance. We unfortunately didn’t achieve that balance and made some simple errors.”
“We learned a huge amount from last week. In the first game with any new group, there’s a level of uncertainty about what behaviours and information will be retained in the heat of a match.”
“This week we have made great strides in training, both in attack and defence, and this will be put to the test against a very good Irish under-20 team, who come in to the match off the back of a victory against England.”
Scotland U20 XV v Ireland – Friday 8th February, 7.30pm, Netherdale
15 Rufus McLean (Watsonians), 14 Rory McMichael (Heriot’s), 13 Cameron Anderson (Wasps), 12 Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), 11 Jack Blain (Heriot’s), 10 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks, vc), 9 Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains), 1 Sam Grahamslaw (Leicester Tigers), 2 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), 3 Murphy Walker (Stirling County), 4 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), 5 Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), 6 Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 7 Connor Boyle (Watsonians, captain), 8 Kwagga Van Niekirk (Lions).
Replacements: 16 Angus Fraser (Glasgow Hawks), 17 Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), 18 Euan McLaren (Ayr), 19 Ross Bundy (Stirling County), 20 Jack Mann (Edinburgh Accies), 21 Kyle McGhie (Musselburgh), 22 Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), 23 Matt Davidson (London Scottish).
Scotland U20 6 Nations Fixtures:
Round 1: Scotland 22-32 Italy
Round 2: Ireland – Friday 8th Feb, Netherdale, Galashiels, 7.30pm
Round 3: France – Friday 22nd Feb, Stade du Hameau, Pai, 8pm
Round 4: Wales – Friday 8th Mar, Meggetland, Edinburgh, 7.30pm
Round 5: England – Friday 15th Mar, Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton, 7.45pm