Scotland have named their side to face Ireland in the 2020 U20 6 Nations opener, kicking off at 7.15pm on Friday night at Independent Park in Cork.
Head Coach Sean Lineen has named Southern Knights number 8 Rory Darge as his skipper with Connor Boyle at openside and Durham University’s Jack Hill, the former Sedbergh School star, on the blindside.
Kieran Watt and Cameron Henderson, of Watsonians and Stirling County respectively, are in the second row, with Heriot’s Dan Gamble at tighthead joined by two Scottish Exiles in the front row, Alex Maxwell of Stourbridge at loosehead and Sale Sharks’ Ewan Ashman, on loan at Edinburgh, at hooker.
In the backline Lineen picks Bristol Bears’ Nathan Chamberlain, on loan at Hartpury College, at outside half with Watsonians’ Roan Frostwick at scrum half. His teammate Matthew Currie is at outside centre, partnered by Boroughmuir Bears’ Robbie McCallum.
The back three sees Ayrshire Bulls’ Ollie Smith at full back, with Southern Knights’ Jacob Henry and Heriot’s Jack Blain either side of him.
The bench is loaded with Boroughmuir Bears’ talent, Gregor Brown, Kyle McGhie, Cameron Scott, and Rufus McLean are all set to come on. Meanwhile Watsonians’ Rory Jackson, Southern Knights’ Mak Wilson, and Biggar’s Jamie Campbell are all waiting in the wings alongside Sydney University’s Thomas Lambert.
It is a key game for Scotland against the Grand Slam champions, Scotland are in need of real momentum in this year’s U20 campaign as they look to win the World Rugby U20 Trophy later in the year in order to be promoted back to the World Rugby U20 Championships for next year following relegation in 2019.
Speaking at the team announcement to www.scottishrugby.org Lineen alluded to that, saying:
“It’s been a pretty tough selection, there’s a lot of guys who were here last year and they obviously have a point to prove. The team’s come together really well, they’re pretty tight and working really hard on different parts of their game.”
“We know we will need to get our performance right against a pretty physical and clever Irish outfit who won this fixture last year away from home, so we know what type of cauldron we’re going into. We’ve prepared really well this week, I’ve been very impressed with their attitude and we’re going over there to give a really good performance.”
Scotland U20 XV v Ireland – Friday, 7.15pm, Independent Park, Cork
15 Ollie Smith (Ayrshire Bulls), 14 Jacob Henry (Southern Knights), 13 Matthew Currie (Watsonians Rugby), 12 Robbie McCallum (Boroughmuir Bears), 11 Jack Blain (Heriot’s Rugby), 10 Nathan Chamberlain (Hartpury College/Bristol Bears), 9 Roan Frostwick (Watsonians Rugby), 1 Alex Maxwell (Stourbridge), 2 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), 3 Dan Gamble (Heriot’s Rugby), 4 Kieran Watt (Watsonians Rugby), 5 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), 6 Jack Hill (Durham University), 7 Connor Boyle (Watsonians Rugby), 8 Rory Darge (Southern Knights, captain).
Replacements: 16 Rory Jackson (Watsonians Rugby), 17 Mak Wilson (Southern Knights), 18 Thomas Lambert (Sydney University), 19 Jamie Campbell (Biggar), 20 Gregor Brown (Boroughmuir Bears), 21 Kyle McGhie (Boroughmuir Bears), 22 Cameron Scott (Boroughmuir Bears), 23 Rufus McLean (Boroughmuir Bears).