Jackson Named Captain For World Cup Opener

Scotland under-20 head coach Colin Robertson has handed stand-off Ruaridh Jackson the captain's armband for the team's opening match of the IRB Junior World Championship against Samoa in Wrexham on Friday night (6 June, kick off 7pm) as part of a new-look side.Scotland under-20 head coach Colin Robertson has handed stand-off Ruaridh Jackson the captain's armband for the team's opening match of the IRB Junior World Championship against Samoa in Wrexham on Friday night (6 June, kick off 7pm) as part of a new-look side.

Prop Joe Stafford, flanker Steve Burton, full-back Peter Horne and scrum-half Peter Jericevich are all poised to make their first starts at under-20 level and Robertson says the changes are specifically designed to combat the threat of Samoa.

Robertson said: "It is very much horses for courses and we are looking to play a certain way against Samoa.

_x001C_We have made one or two changes. We are looking at the fact that we have got to play a huge amount of games in a short period of time.

_x001C_We are really excited ahead of the first game in this World Cup and everyone is focused on delivering the right performance.

_x001C_As a result, we have got to pick specific players for specific games. So the selection process has to be geared to that."

Jackson, 20, has got both Magners League and Heineken Cup experience with Glasgow Warriors and Robertson has backed the skilful playmaker to lead by example on Friday.

He added: _x001C_Ruaridh is a very mature 10. He was involved in degrees of leadership over the course of the 6 Nations and he has been pretty effective for us. For this game we feel he will give us the right leadership._x001D_

Forming the half-back combination with Jackson, is promising scrum half Jericevich, recently crowned Scotland under-19 Player of the Year.

Robertson admits he has been impressed with what Jericevich has contributed during the build-up to the tournament and that he will be suited to the challenged posed by Samoa.

He said: _x001C_Peter has got sharp service; he is a very fit, strong and competitive young lad with a great attitude. We want to use different players for different styles of play._x001D_

Another Scotland under-19 internationalist selected in the back-line is full-back Peter Horne and Robertson believes the Howe of Fife youngster is an exciting addition to the side.

He said: _x001C_He has got a first class attitude and very good footwork. He is good at beating defenders and he is a good rugby player._x001D_

Meanwhile, Joe Stafford has been given the nod to start in the front row after successfully recovering from a long term groin injury which ruled him out for the 6 Nations campaign.

Robertson said: _x001C_Joe is looking really good. He has been really effective for us since he came back from injury.

_x001C_He is just really happy to be back in international rugby after being out for so long. I think he will make an impact with his ball carrying and strength in contact._x001D_

Scotland under-20 squad (team sponsor Martin Currie) for the IRB Junior World Championship match against Samoa at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (6 June 2008, kick off 7pm).

15 Peter Horne (Howe of Fife)

14 Lee Jones (Selkirk)
13 Chris Kinloch (Edinburgh Academicals and National Senior Academy)
12 Stevie McColl (Dunfermline and National Senior Academy)
11 Paul Loudon (Durham University)
10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Hawks and National Senior Academy)CAPTAIN
9 Peter Jericevich (GHA and National Senior Academy)

1 Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks and National Junior Academy)
2 Adrian Duncan (Stewart's-Melville FP and National Senior Academy)
3 Joe Stafford (Hillhead/Jordanhill and National Senior Academy)
4 Fraser McKenzie (Heriot's and National Senior Academy)
5 Richie Gray (Stirling County and National Senior Academy)
6 Steven Burton (Currie)
8 Craig Simmonds (Heriot's)
7 Andrew Rose (Hartpury College)

Substitutes: Niall Shannon (Aberdeen Grammar FP), Lewis Niven (Edinburgh Academicals), Neale Patrick (Dunfermline), Lewis Calder (Newcastle Falcons), Ross Samson (Newcastle Falcons), James Murray ((Leeds Carnegie and Edinburgh Academicals), Tom Bury (Boroughmuir and National Junior Academy).