Auld Enemy Await In 5 Nations Opener

Scotland under-18 open their 5 Nations Festival against familiar opponents England in Viadana, Italy tomorrow (Wednesday 15 April, kick-off 7.30pm local time, 6.30pm BST).

While there is only one change to the side that the faced Viadana under-20 Academy on Saturday – Glen Bryce (Stirling County) for Jamie Forbes (George Watson’s College) – head coach, Grant McKelvey has made five changes – four in the backs – to the side that lost 0-63 to England just over three weeks ago.

Craig Jackson (Melrose Wasps) and Henry Oliver (Merchiston Castle School) make up Scotland’s starting centre partnership while Michael Doneghan (Stewart’s-Melville College) comes in on the wing.

Having impressed against the Viadana under-20 Academy Prop Colin Phillips (Stewart’s-Melville College) retains his starting slot in the front-row despite the return of Steve Quigley (St Mary’s College) from injury.

Scotland under-18 head coach, Grant McKelvey, said: “Over the past 48 hours we have taken huge steps forward, on and off the field.

“Yesterday was one of the best training sessions we’ve had and the boys are taking a lot more responsibility for themselves and their fellow players – particularly with things like contributing to the game plan.

“We’ve generated some real positivity amongst the squad and have done some goal setting and one-to-ones which allow the players to view and review their individual performances in the previous games.

“Of course it’s going to be a massive mental, physical and emotional test but we’re measuring ourselves against ourselves here and are really positive about that.

“The management team are confident we will see improvements tomorrow and believe that we will continue to see improvements over the course of the 5 Nations.”

Scotland under-18 to face England under-18 at Viadana, Italy on Wednesday (15 April, 7.30pm local time, 6.30pm BST)

15 Glen Bryce (Stirling County)

14 Michael Doneghan (Stewart’s-Melville College)
13 Henry Oliver (Merchiston Castle School)
12 Craig Jackson (Melrose Wasps)
11 Courtenay Morrison (Dollar Academy)

10 Gregor Hunter (Gala Wanderers / Galashiels Academy)*
9 Sean Kennedy (Stirling County)

1 Ross Turner (Fettes College)
2 David Cherry (Merchiston Castle School) CAPTAIN
3 Colin Phillips (Stewart’s-Melville College)
4 Michael Roy (Musselburgh)
5 Robert McAlpine (The Glasgow Academy)*
6 James Tyas (Brighton College)
8 Andrew Kirkland (Glasgow Hawks)*
7 Duncan Finnie (George Watson's College)

Steve Quigley (St Mary’s College)
Mathew Bradford (Allan Glen’s)
Richard Ferguson (Melrose Wasps)
Gary Lowrie (Hawick Wanderers)
Callum Wishart (Dollar Academy)
Steven Turnbull (Whitecraigs)
Chris Bloomfield (Hymers College)
Jamie Forbes (George Watson’s College)
Robbie Boswell (Stirling County)
Stuart Edwards (Stirling County)
Danny Gilmour (Stirling County)*

* Member of National Academy supported by AIS (Area Institute of Sport)

Martin Currie sponsor all of the Scotland age-grades

5 Nations under-18 Festival
Match day 1: Sunday 12 April
Wales v Ireland, Parma (kick-off 4pm local time, 3pm BST)
Italy v England, Viadana (kick-off 7.30pm local time, 6.30pm BST)
Match day 2: Wednesday 15 April
Italy v Ireland, Parma (kick-off 4.30pm local time, 3.30pm BST)
England v Scotland, Viadana (7.30pm local time, 6.30pm BST)
Match day 3: Saturday 18 April
Wales v Scotland, Noceto (kick-off 4pm local time, 3pm BST)
England v Ireland, Colorno (kick-off 4pm local time, 3pm BST)

Head coach – Grant McKelvey
Assistant coach – Graham Marshall
Assistant coach – Alex Duncan
CPD coach – Simon Cross
Strength and conditioning coach – Val Houston
Team manager – Euan Kennedy
Assistant manager – John Manson
Team Doctor – Mike Proudfoot
Physio – Nicola McGuire
Video Analyst – Murray Craig
Team administrator – Ann McKinsley
Media manager – Michael James