Bryan Redpath has named his Scotland side for their opening game of the 2018 World Rugby U20 Championships against Italy in Beziers on Wednesday.
Kicking off at 5.30pm (BST), the game is Redpath’s first in charge of the Scotland U20 side and will be streamed live on www.worldrugby.org. His team features 12 of the fifteen that lost to Italy in the final match of this year’s U20 6 Nations.
Currie centre Cameron Hutchison comes in as do Edinburgh Accies tighthead Finaly Richardson and Jed Forest hooker Finlay Scott.
The side is captained by Ayr inside centre Stafford McDowall, with Glasgow Hawks’ Ross Thompson at outside half and Gloucester’s Charlie Chapman, one of three Scottish Exiles in the starting fifteen, at scrum half. Kyle Rowe and Logan Trotter are on the wings, with Ayr’s Paddy Dewhirst at full back.
Up front Northampton Saints’ Devante Onojaife is at number 8, with Rory Darge and Martin Hughes on the flanks. Racing 92’s Ewan Johnson completes the Exiles trio, he lines up in the second row alongside Jamie Hodgson, while joining Scott and Richardson in the front row is Ross Dunbar.
The bench features plenty of Exiles, including Leicester Tigers loosehead Sam Grahamslaw, Stade Francais’ former Sedbergh scrum half Charlie Gowling, Newcastle Falcons back rower Guy Graham, and Northampton Saints’ Fraser Strachan, a star for Bedford in the centres last year.
Strathallan schoolboy Murphy Walker covers tighthead, with Ayr’s Robbie Smith covering hooker. Charlie Jupp covers the second row, with Callum McLelland covering the inside backs.
Speaking to www.scottishrugby.org ahead of the game, Redpath, said:
“The squad have trained well since arriving in France last week and I’ve been impressed with their commitment and desire to get better every day. We’ve chosen a side who we feel are the best prepared to go into Wednesday’s match. We’re focused and in a good place.”
“Italy are a strong team and a side we obviously know well after facing them in the U20 Six Nations. We’ve got to manage the game in the right areas, while our set-piece has to be spot on. We’re all really looking forward to the challenge.”
Scotland U20 v Italy U20: Wednesday, 17.30 (BST), Beziers (live on www.worldrugby.org)
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 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)
9 Charlie Chapman (Gloucester)
1 Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir)
2 Finlay Scott (Jed-Forest)
3 Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies)
4 Ewan Johnson (Racing Metro 92)
5 Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians)
6 Martin Hughes (Heriot’s)
7 Rory Darge (Melrose)
8 Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints)
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith (Ayr), 17 Sam Grahamslaw (Leicester Tigers), 18 Murphy Walker (Strathallan), 19 Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 20 Guy Graham (Newcastle Falcons), 21 Charlie Gowling (Stade Francais), 22 Callum McLelland (Edinburgh), 23 Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints).
Scotland’s World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures:
Wednesday 30th May: v Italy, 17.30 (BST), Beziers
Sunday 3rd June: v Argentina, 13.00 (BST), Perpignan
Thursday 7th June: v England, 20.00 (BST), Beziers