Scotland and Ireland have named their teams for Tuesday’s crucial clash at the World Rugby U20 Championships.
The two teams are in the 9th-12th place semi finals, and the losing side will be in a relegation play off against the loser of the Georgia v Japan game – a game that nobody wants to face the risk of being in.
Being there would be devastating for either side, so unsurprisingly both have named very strong sides.
For Scotland Paddy Dewhirst comes back in at full back with Logan Trotter moving to the wing, Kyle Rowe keeps his place on the other wing. Stafford McDowall returns to the side at inside centre and resumes the captaincy, he is partnered by outside centre Cameron Hutchinson.
Callum McLelland meanwhile is at outside half, with Gloucester’s Charlie Chapman, one of four Exiles in the starting line up, returning at scrum half.
Fellow Exiles Devante Onojaife comes back into the side, the Northampton Saints man starts at number 8 with Rory Darge and Marting Hughes either side of him. Jamie Hodgson lines up in the second row alongside St Joseph’s College pupil Marshall Sykes, who has been outstanding so far.
Robbie Smith, stand in skipper last time out, starts at hooker again, with Finlay Richardson at tighthead and Leicester Tigers’ Sam Grahamslaw the final Exiles in the side, starting at looshead, though with Fraser Strachan, Charlie Gowling, and Guy Graham on the bench the number of Exiles on the pitch could well increase.
Commenting ahead of the game, Head Coach Bryan Redpath said to Scottish Rugby:
“We competed well against England, but perhaps just ran out of gas in the second-half after such a physical opening 40 minutes. We obviously know Ireland well after facing them in the Six Nations. They’re a tough, direct side who we pushed all the way in Donnybrook four months ago. The boys know how intense the clash will be and we’ll have to match their intensity from the get go.”
“The boys have trained well in the run up to the game. They’ve been positive and I’ve been really impressed with their mindset. We’ve chosen a strong, experienced side who we believe have the talent and attitude to get a positive result.”
Ireland should have some confidence going into this one though, they beat Scotland 30-25 in the U20 6 Nations earlier in the year. Head Coach Noel McNamara has brought Michael Silvester back in at full back, with James Hume and Tommy O’Brien moved from the centres to the wings.
That move sees Sean O’Brien and Peter Sylvester come in to the centres, with Harry Byrne returning at fly half while Hugh O’Sullivan is at scrum half.
Up front Joe Byrne comes in at tighthead, with Jordan Duggan and Diarmuid Barron alongside him again having started every game so far. Matthew Dalton and Jack Dunne line up in the second row, with Joe Dunleavy and Matthew Agnew on the flanks. Caelan Doris captains the side from number 8.
Speaking ahead of the game, McNamara said: “We had three tough pool games and while there were lots of positives to take from the games, unfortunately they weren’t reflected on the scoreboard.”
“Scotland will present another big challenge for the team. Having played them in the Under-20 Six Nations earlier this season and also in a warm-up fixture in Edinburgh ahead of this tournament, we know what to expect from them.”
Scotland U20 v Ireland U20 – 9th place semi final – Tuesday, 3pm (BST), Perpignan. Live on www.worldrugby.org and Eir Sport 2.
Scotland U20 XV:
15 Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr)
14 Logan Trotter (Stirling County)
13 Cameron Hutchison (Currie Chieftains)
12 Stafford McDowall (Ayr, captain)
11 Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Hawks)
10 Callum McLelland (Edinburgh)
9 Charlie Chapman (Gloucester)
1 Sam Grahamslaw (Leicester Tigers)
2 Robbie Smith (Ayr)
3 Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies)
4 Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians)
5 Marshall Sykes (St Joseph’s College)
6 Martin Hughes (Heriot’s)
7 Rory Darge (Melrose)
8 Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints)
Replacements: 16 Finlay Scott (Jed-Forest), 17 Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir), 18 Murphy Walker (Strathallan School), 19 Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 20 Guy Graham (Newcastle Falcons), 21 Charlie Gowling (Stade Francais), 22 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), 23 Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints).
Ireland U20 XV:
15 Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster)
14 James Hume (Banbridge/Ulster)
13 Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
12 Peter Sylvester (UCC/Munster)
11 Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
10 Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
9 Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf/Leinster)
1 Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster)
2 Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster)
3 Joe Byrne (Dublin University/Leinster)
4 Matthew Dalton (Malone/Ulster)
5 Jack Dunne (Dublin University/Leinster)
6 Joe Dunleavy (Malone/Ulster)
7 Matthew Agnew (Ballymena/Ulster)
8 Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster, captain)
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan (Dublin University/Leinster), 17 Bryan O’Connor (UCC/Munster), 18 Jakub Wojtkowicz (Sligo/Connacht), 19 Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster), 20 Jack Daly (Garryowen/Munster), 21 Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/Ulster), 22 Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 23 Tom Roche (Lansdowne/Leinster).
World Rugby U20 Championship Results:
Wales 18-17 Japan
New Zealand 27-18 Australia
Italy 30-26 Argentina
England 35-10 Scotland
Ireland 20-24 Georgia
South Africa 29-46 France
Australia 54-19 Japan
New Zealand 42-10 Wales
Argentina 29-13 Scotland
England 43-5 Italy
France 24-12 Georgia
South Africa 30-17 Ireland
New Zealand 67-0 Japan
Wales 26-21 Australia
England 39-18 Argentina
Italy 27-26 Scotland
France 26-24 Ireland
South Africa 33-27 Georgia
World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures (All times BST):
Semi Finals – Tuesday 12th June
2nd New Zealand v 3rd France – 6pm, Narbonne
1st England v 4th South Africa – 8pm, Perpignan
6th Wales v 7th Argentina – 1pm, Narbonne
5th Italy v 8th Australia – 3.30pm, Narbonne
10th Ireland v 11th Scotland – 3pm, Perpignan
9th Georgia v 12th Japan – 5.30pm, Perpignan
Finals – Sunday 17th June
11th Place Play Off – 10am, Beziers
9th Place Play Off – 12.30pm, Beziers
5th Place Play Off – 1pm, Beziers
7th Place Play Off – 3pm, Beziers
3rd Place Play Off – 3.30pm, Beziers
Final – 6pm, Beziers