Scotland under-20 coach Rob Moffat selected his squad of 26 players today for the IRB Junior World Championship in Japan.
Moffat gave his players every opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the final cut, making his selection just in time for the IRB deadline this afternoon following a full contact XV-a-side head-to-head amongst his players yesterday at Lasswade.
Seven new faces join the squad following the side’s most successful 6 Nations in history with Scotland under-19 captain, Grant Gilchrist earning a place alongside fellow forwards Robert Harley, Ryan Wilson and Grant Shiells, while Alex Dunbar, James Knight and Steven Aitken have been drafted into the backs.
Moffat said: “Yesterday was a great opportunity for the players to play another match of high intensity rugby which helps the development of our game and was part of our programme for the World Cup. If we have got that right then this should be an even stronger squad than that of the 6 Nations.
“The World Cup is a fantastic environment to be in. Some of these players will go on to play professional rugby and this is the time for them to stand up and make that known. It’s up to them to make their mark on that stage and if these boys keep improving and developing then we can definitely look forward to the World Cup.
“One of the games in our pool is against England whom we lost in the 6 Nations. We also face Samoa and Japan and they are unknown quantities in some respects so we’re not getting carried away here. We know where we are and what we’ve got to do so importantly, with three weeks to go before we go to Japan, we continually develop our game.”
Scotland have one final preparation fixture against Ireland under-20 on Sunday 24 May at Fort Matilda, Greenock (kick-off 2.30pm) before leaving for Japan the following Friday (29 May) where they will face Samoa (Friday 5 June), England (Tuesday 9 June) and hosts Japan (Saturday 13 June) in Pool B.
Peter Jericevich (Glasgow Hawks) *, Henry Pyrgos (Wimbourne), Robbie McGowan (Stirling County), Andrew White (Glasgow Hawks) **, Alex Dunbar (Selkirk) **, Robbie Johnston (Leeds University and Leeds Carnegie), James Knight (Bedford), Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar) **, Steven Aitken (Aberdeen Grammar) **, Grant Anderson (Ayr) *, Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Paul Loudon (Durham University and Edinburgh Accies)
Fraser Brown CAPTAIN (Watsonians)*, Finlay Gillies (Heriot’s) **, Gavin Cameron (Stirling County) **, David Morton (Bridgwater and Albion), Douglas Orr (Haddington) **, Grant Shiells (Kelso), Nick Campbell (Glasgow Hawks) **, Grant Gilchrist (Stirling County) *, Richard Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Robert Harley (West of Scotland) **, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s) **, Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s) *, Stuart McInally* (Watsonians), Ryan Wilson (London Scottish)
* 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
Pool B, Tokyo, Prince Chichibu Memorial
Friday 5 June: Samoa v Scotland, Tokyo, kick-off 5pm
Tuesday 9 June: England v Scotland, Tokyo, kick-off 5pm
Saturday 13 June: Japan v Scotland, Tokyo, kick-off 3pm