John Names 32-Man Squad For 6 Nations

Head coach of Scotland under-20s, Eamon John, today announced the first training squad of the 2008/2009 season leading up to the 2009 6 Nations.

Head coach of Scotland under-20s, Eamon John, today announced the first training squad of the 2008/2009 season leading up to the 2009 6 Nations. 

The entire U19s squad that defeated Italy (32-10) in February earlier this year have been invited back to trial for the opportunity to prolong their age-grade careers.  A further seven new faces make up the 32 strong age-grade squad who will all now be monitored closely by the national management and performance development teams from now until the squad camp on 16 December and thereafter.

John said, said: "The important thing for these players is the opportunity to work with the new management and put their hands up and promote themselves. The acceleration of the abilities of age-grade sides progress rapidly through the 18s, 19s and 20s so we need to get our preparation right in order to combat that.

“It's up to the management to get the preparation and the mind set of these players right. We have to train the way we want to play and we have to prepare ourselves off the field in terms how we communicate our intentions and ambitions. We have to perform in the 6 Nations, if we can do that then we’ll be competitive and when you’re competitive anything can happen."

The initial U20 training squad will now begin preparations for 2009 Six Nations with a schedule of squad sessions leading up to the matches against the Edinburgh and Glasgow back-up in January which precedes the selection of the 22 man 6 Nations squad.

Opportunities are still available for anyone who has not received an invite to the first session to gain entry to the squad as the squad is continually assessed with selections ongoing right up until the 2009 6 Nations.

Scotland U20 initial training squad:

Props - David Morton (Bridgwater and Albion), Gavin Cameron (Stirling County)**, Douglas Orr (Haddington)**, Grant Shiells (Kelso), Calum McConnachie (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
Hookers - Fraser Brown (Watsonians)*, Finlay Gillies (Heriot’s) **, Ryan McConnell (Peebles)**
Second rows - Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Nick Campbell (Glasgow Hawks)**, Mark Anderson (Harrogate), James Taylor (Loughborough University)
Back rows - Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s)*, Neil Rodger (Haddington)**, Tom Drennan (Edinburgh Academicals)**, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s)**, Ryan Wilson (London Scottish)
Scrum-halves - Peter Jericevich (Glasgow Hawks)*, Andrew Dymock (Dundee HSFP)**, Henry Pyrgos (Loughborough University)
Stand-offs - Cameron Brown (Loughborough University), Andrew White (Glasgow Hawks)**
Centres - Robbie Johnston (Leeds University and Leeds Carnegie), Steven Wilson (Stirling County)*, Paul Loudon (Durham University and Edinburgh Accies), Ashleigh McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar)**
Back threes - Steven Aitken (Aberdeen Grammar)**, Grant Anderson (Ayr)*, Adam McKenzie (Darlington Mowden Park and Northumbria University), Peter Horne (West of Scotland)*, Fraser Thomson (Gala)*, Robbie McGowan (Stirling County)

* Denotes a member of the Scottish National Contracted Academy
** Denotes a member of the Scottish Rugby National Academy supported by the Scottish Institute of Sport

Warm up matches

Monday 12 January Scotland under-20 v Glasgow back-up, Whitecraigs (kick-off 2pm)
Monday 19 January Scotland under-20 v Edinburgh back-up, Lasswade (kick-off 2pm)

Scotland U20 6 Nations fixtures announced to date:
Scotland U20 v Wales U20
France U20 v Scotland U20 - Friday 13 February, Macon (KO tbc)
Scotland U20 v Italy U20
Scotland U20 v Ireland U20
Italy U20 v France U20 - Friday 20 March, Benevento (KO tbc)

Scotland U20 IRB Junior World Championship pool (fixtures tbc)
Pool B: England, Samoa, Scotland, Japan

Scotland under 20 management team:
Rob Moffat - Mentor
Eamon John - Head Coach
Tom Smith - Asst Coach
Gar Mercer - Defence Coach
Mar Drury - Fitness Coach
Dave Pugh - Doctor
Paul McGinley - Physio
Craig Chalmers
Murray Fleming - Analyst
John Jeffrey - Team Manager
Michael James - Team Media Manager
Ann McKinsley - Team Administrator
* Please note that Rob Moffat will take over as head coach of the Scotland Under-20 team for the IRB Junior World Cup with Eamon John reverting to assistant coach