The Scotland U17 development squad travels south on Sunday (5 April) to compete in this season’s Millfield International Festival, at Millfield School, Street in Somerset, from 6 to 12 April.
Over eight days, the squad of 26 players will take on their counterparts from England, Belgium and Wales.
In preparation for the Festival the squad got together over three weekends in March, taking part in ten rugby sessions and two games.
"It's been an eye-opener for them, with the combination of technical, tactical, mental and physical work they've had to take on board," says Head Coach Bryan Easson, "but they've made great progress over a short space of time.
"I think the intensity of the whole programme hit the players most. They've all had at least three one-to-one sessions with the coaches and every part of their game is being analysed."
As part of their development, the players competed in two matches - the first against a Caledonian U17 / U18 select, when they scored 50 points, and the second against Newcastle Falcons Academy who they beat 21-16.
At Millfield, all 26 players have to participate over the three fixtures and Easson is under no illusions that all the games will prove tough.
"The Welsh are awlays difficult at age grade, Belgium are a real unknown quantity and the England games are always hard fought. We're not focusing on any game in particular, though - this is a huge learning process for us all, as players and coaches, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
Scotland U17 Development Squad
Robin Hislop (Hawick Wanderers)
Gavin Robertson (Earlston HS / Melrose Wasps)
Fraser Watt (East Kilbride)
Alex Allan (Sedbergh School)
Jack MacFarlane (Gourock HS / Greenock Wanderers)
Fergus Scott (Currie Colts)
William Kay (Boroughmuir)
Fraser Wem (Hampton School / Wasps)
Craig Ferguson (Glasgow HS)
Ben Johnstone (Stewart’s Melville College )
Malcolm Peacock (George Watson’s College)
Matthew Walker (Boroughmuir)
Andrew Nagle (Jed Thistle)
Jamie Swanson (Glasgow Academy)
Murray McConnell (Lenzie Academy / West of Scotland RFC)
John Adams (Aberdeen Grammar)
Fraser Gillies (Edinburgh Academy)
Jack Bradford (Worksop College )
Jack MacFarlane (George Watson's College)
Jamie Urquhart (Dollar Academy)
Stewart Hogg (Hawick Wanderers)
Harris Jones (Robert Gordon’s College)
Aiden McCall Hagen (St Aloysius’ College)
Ben Francis (Epsom College)
Ross Inglis (Calderside Academy / Hamilton)
Guy Skivington-Jones (Merchiston Castle School)
Team Manager – Robert Charters
Head Coach – Bryan Easson
Assistant Coach – Gordon Henderson
Assistant Coach – Mark Appleson
CPD Coach – Stevie Scott
Strength and Conditioning Coach – Gary Dempsey
Doctor – Jon Turvill
Physiotherapist – Julie Morrow
Video Analyst – Ciaran Beattie
Millfield International Festival 2009
Tuesday 7 April England A v Scotland U17 k/o 7pm
Thursday 9 April Scotland U17 v Belgium k/o 11.45am
Sunday 12 April Scotland U17 v Wales A k/o 9.30am