French Familiar For Wukovits As U19S Named

Scotland Under-19 coach Peter Wright has named his side to face France in the IRB Under 19 World Championships at Belfast Harlequins tomorrow (5 April, 7.30pm) as No 8 Alexandre Wukovits lines up against some very familiar opposition. Wright said: “This is probably the strongest team we can put out. It’s a big, physical side but we also have pace to finish things off on the field. Scotland Under-19 coach Peter Wright has named his side to face France in the IRB Under 19 World Championships at Belfast Harlequins tomorrow (5 April, 7.30pm) as No 8 Alexandre Wukovits lines up against some very familiar opposition.

Wukovits is of Scottish, Austrian and Croatian descent but was born in France, where he now plays for professional outfit Bègles Bordeaux in the Pro D2 league (second tier of French club rugby, below the Top 14). He also spent a year at Millfield School in England and his paternal grandfather was from Larkhall in Lanarkshire.

Ahead of the match he said: “I know most of the squad because I’ve played against them at club level and I play with Maxime Machenaud (scrum half) and Arthur Chollon (flanker) at Bègles Bordeaux.

“It’ll be a competitive game tomorrow night as the World Championships are very important for both sides. They will be tough but I am very confident in our ability and I think we are capable of big things,” he added.

Having done his research, Wright is also familiar with the opposition and has picked a team to take France on in what will be a physical encounter. He said: “This is probably the strongest team we can put out. It’s a big, physical side but we also have pace to finish things off on the field. We’re looking to take the French on as we know that’s what they’ll be looking to do to us.

“We’re desperate to start this competition as training has been good this week. We ran out against the USA on Monday in a training game which gave us the benefits of a physical match ahead of tomorrow night. It was definitely worth it and I feel we are ready to play France,” he added.

IRB Under 19 World Championship rules permit teams to bench all 11 remaining squad members and make up to seven substitutions during the match.

SCOTLAND UNDER-19 TEAM TO PLAY FRANCE

15 Harry Duthie (Harrogate)

14 Lee Jones (Selkirk)
13 Chris Kinloch (Fettes College/Edinburgh Academicals and ESIS)*
12 Stephen McColl (Dunfermline and TFIS)*
11 Tom Bury (Edinburgh Academicals)

10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors, Cartha Queens Park and WSIS)*
9 Ross Samson (Newcastle Falcons/Tynedale)

1 Gary Strain (Dalziel)
2 Adrian Duncan (Stewart's Melville FP)
3 Joe Stafford (Glasgow Warriors, Hillhead/Jordanhill and WSIS)*
4 Neale Patrick (Dunfermline)
5 Josh Brown (Bristol/Filton College)
6 Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby, Dunfermline and TFIS)* CAPTAIN
7 Kevin Bryce (Glasgow Warriors, Stirling County and CIS)*
8 Alexandre Wukovits (Bègles Bordeaux)

Substitutes from:

FORWARDS: Steven Burton (Currie), Craig Charters (Hawick), Angus Dixon (Aberdeen GSFP), Ralph McInally (Perthshire), Lewis Niven (Edinburgh Academicals/Trinity Academicals), Craig Simmonds (Dalziel)

BACKS: Murray Allan (Stewart's Melville FP), Ruairidh Bonner (Edinburgh Academicals), James Murray (Edinburgh Academicals), Matthew Heeks (London Scottish and St Mary’s Twickenham), Jonny Smart (Dunfermline)

* = National Academy player

ESIS – East of Scotland Institute of Sport
TFIS – Tayside & Fife Institute of Sport
WSIS – West of Scotland Institute of Sport
CIS – Central Institute of Sport