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: â€œThis is probably the strongest team we can put out. Itâ€™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 BÃ¨gles 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: â€œI know most of the squad because Iâ€™ve played against them at club level and I play with Maxime Machenaud (scrum half) and Arthur Chollon (flanker) at BÃ¨gles Bordeaux.
â€œItâ€™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,â€ 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: â€œThis is probably the strongest team we can put out. Itâ€™s a big, physical side but we also have pace to finish things off on the field. Weâ€™re looking to take the French on as we know thatâ€™s what theyâ€™ll be looking to do to us.
â€œWeâ€™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,â€ 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 (BÃ¨gles Bordeaux)
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 Maryâ€™s Twickenham), Jonny Smart (Dunfermline)
* = National Academy player
ESIS â€“ East of Scotland Institute of Sport
TFIS â€“ Tayside & Fife Institute of Sport
WSIS â€“ West of Scotland Institute of Sport
CIS â€“ Central Institute of Sport