Chris Fusaro admits he is looking forward to seeing a few familiar faces in the crowd for Scotland under-20’s opening 6 Nations match against Wales at McDiarmid Park on Friday night (6 February, kick off 7.10pm), especially because the stadium is just a few miles away from his hometown, Cupar.
With supporters entitled to free admission for the match, a large crowd is expected in Perth and openside flanker Fusaro says his friends and family will be keen to come and cheer him on.
Fusaro said: “We’re all really looking forward to it and hopefully we will get a lot of local support on the night.
“It will be a great opportunity for my friends and family to come and watch me play; I know that quite a few will be coming along and the fact that there is free admission is really great.
“It should be a good game. We are expecting Wales to be quite physical, but we’ve got a mobile pack, so hopefully we can do some damage.”
One graduate from last season’s under-20 squad to progress through to the senior side’s set-up is Ruaridh Jackson and Fusaro admits watching his development over the past 12 months has been inspirational.
He added: “It was inspiring to see that a young player can be recognised. He had a good opportunity for Glasgow against Bath and he took it; he has done really well.”
Coach Eamon John believes the current crop of players are very talented, but stressed the team has to produce complete performances in order to achieve success in the tournament.
He said: “It is a fantastic tournament and a great opportunity to test our abilities.
“We’ve got a good group of individuals and we are hoping we can get the results to reflect that.
“In order to be successful at this level, you need to be able to produce 80-minute performances, so that is what we’ll be aiming to do.”
Hooker Fraser Brown captains a side that contains lock Richie Gray and half-backs Henry Pyrgos and Andrew White.
Former under-18 No8 Stuart McInally starts at the base of the scrum alongside Fusaro and Struan Dewar.
BBC Two Wales (Sky channel 961) will be televising the game live and viewers in Scotland can watch the action via the red button.
Scotland under-20 squad (team sponsor Martin Currie) to play Wales at McDiarmid Park (Friday 6 February, kick-off 7.10pm)
15 Peter Horne* (West of Scotland)
14 Paul Loudon (Durham University and Edinburgh Academicals)
13 Ashleah McCulloch+ (Aberdeen Grammar)
12 Robbie Johnston (Leeds University and Leeds Carnegie)
11 Grant Anderson* (Ayr)
10 Andrew White+ (Glasgow Hawks)
9 Henry Pyrgos (Loughborough University)
1 Gavin Cameron+ (Stirling County)
2 Fraser Brown* (Watsonians) CAPTAIN
3 David Morton (Bridgwater)
4 Nick Campbell+ (Glasgow Hawks)
5 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
6 Struan Dewar+ (Heriot’s)
8 Stuart McInally* (Watsonians)
7 Chris Fusaro* (Heriot’s)
Replacements: Finlay Gillies+ (Heriot’s), Douglas Orr+ (Haddington), James Taylor (Loughborough University and Dundee HSFP), Tom Drennan+ (Edinburgh Academicals), Peter Jericevich* (Glasgow Hawks), Robbie McGowan (Stirling County), Adam McKenzie (Northumbria University).
* = denotes National Academy
+ = denotes National Academy supported by Area Institute of Sport
FREE TO ATTEND HOME REPRESENTATIVE AND AGE-GRADE FIXTURES
Friday 6 February – Scotland under-20 v Wales under-20, McDiarmid Park, Perth (kick-off, 7.10pm)
Friday 13 February – France under-20 v Scotland under-20, Macon, (kick-off tbc)
Friday 27 February – Scotland under-20 v Italy under-20, Dens Park, Dundee (kick-off, 7.30pm)
Friday 13 March – Scotland under-20 v Ireland under-20, McDiarmid Park, Perth (kick-off, 7.30pm)
Friday 20 March – England under-20 v Scotland under-20, Sixways Stadium, Worcester (kick-off 8pm)
Sunday 1 March – Scotland under-19 v Italy under-19, Lasswade RFC, Midlothian (kick-off, 12 noon)
Saturday 4 April – France v Scotland under-19, Dourdan, (kick-off tbc)
Scotland under-18 6 Nations Festival preparation fixtures
Sunday 22 March – England under-18 v Scotland under-18, Kingston Park, Newcastle (kick-off 2pm)
Sunday 29 March – Scotland under-18 v The Boys Club of Wales, Bridgehaugh (kick-off 2pm)
Sunday 5 April – Leicester Academy v Scotland under-18, Leicester (kick-off 12 noon)
Tuesday 7 April – England A v Scotland under-17, Millfield Festival, Somerset (kick-off 7pm)
Thursday 9 April – Belgium v Scotland under-17, Millfield Festival (kick-off, 11.45am)
Sunday 12 April – Wales A v Scotland under-17, Millfield Festival, (kick-off, 9.30am)
Scotland club international
Friday 13 February – France v Scotland Club international, Rouen, kick-off 6pm)
Friday 13 March – Scotland Club International v Ireland, Myreside (kick-off 7.30pm)
Sunday 8 February – Scotland Women v Wales Women – Meggetland (midday)
Saturday 28 February – Scotland Women v Wales Women – Meggetland (midday)
Friday 13 March – Scotland Women v Ireland Women – Meggetland (kick off 7.30pm)