U19S Hope To Be Centre Of Attention

Scotland Under-19 are gearing up for their crucial match against Fiji tomorrow (Friday 13 April) in the IRB Under 19 World Championship in Belfast (Shaw’s Bridge, 5.30pm) and for two players there are former internationals keeping a close eye on them. Coach Peter Wright has made just one change from the side that agonisingly lost 13-12 to a final second Irish try on Monday night.Scotland Under-19 are gearing up for their crucial match against Fiji tomorrow (Friday 13 April) in the IRB Under 19 World Championship in Belfast (Shaw’s Bridge, 5.30pm) and for two players there are former internationals keeping a close eye on them.

Hooker Adrian Duncan’s cousin John Frame played 23 times for Scotland between 1967 and 1973 while lock Craig Charters’ grandfather Robin was capped three times in 1955. Both men were centres in their day while Adrian and Craig have both found their place among the forwards.

Adrian, who makes his third start in tomorrow’s match against Fiji, said: “John definitely takes an interest in my career and comes to watch whenever he can. Back in his day he was a pretty physical player apparently so he’s always encouraged me to play the same way. I’m not as fast as him though.

“Being involved in this tournament has been an amazing experience and we’ve just been unlucky with the results so far. That has been frustrating for us but we’re looking for a big performance tomorrow against Fiji and take it from there into a successful end to the tournament,” he added.

Robin Charters was also the SRU President from 1992-93 and toured with Scotland to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa in ’93 as the Scots won all their matches against the Fijians. He was also Chairman of Scotland’s selectors in the late ‘80s.

Craig said: “He definitely keeps an eye on how I’m doing and he has called to see how things are going. He was a centre so there’s not much he can say on my position but he’s given me good advice about how to cope with playing in a big tournament like this. I’ve not had my chance to play in the championships yet but when it comes I’ll take it.”

Coach Peter Wright has made just one change from the side that agonisingly lost 13-12 to a final second Irish try on Monday night. No 8 Alexandre Wukovits has been replaced by Dalziel’s Craig Simmonds as Wright continues to opt for continuity in his side following narrow losses to France (11-6) and Ireland in the pool matches.

He said: “We’ve looked back at the Ireland game and reviewed the good and bad points of that. We’ve taken a lot from that and we’ve also looked at Fiji’s defeats to South Africa and Australia. We’ve identified areas to attack them and I think we’ve got a great chance to get in the 5th-8th grouping for the final stages.

“The forwards will be instrumental in this game and bringing Craig Simmonds in will add to that. He’s a physical player at 120kg and will complement our big pack as we look to carry the ball up field in the forwards before putting it wide to our speedy backs,” 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 FIJI

15 Murray Allan (Stewart's Melville FP)

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 Craig Simmonds (Dalziel)

Substitutes from:

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

BACKS: Ruairidh Bonner (Edinburgh Academicals), Harry Duthie (Harrogate), James Murray (Edinburgh Academicals), Matthew Heeks (London Scottish and St Mary’s Twickenham), Redha Guedroudj (Aberdeen GSFP)

* = 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