John Picks Same Team For Under-20 Irish Encounter

Scotland under-20 will field the same team that lost 6-27 to England for their final 6 Nations match against Ireland at Athlone on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

The young Scots, currently fourth in the championship, will face a difficult test in Athlone against an Ireland side that’s kept on top of the championship table by a superior points difference to second-placed England – who they defeated 10-25 at the home of Gloucester, Kingsholm.

Scotland under-20 will field the same team that lost 6-27 to England for their final 6 Nations match against Ireland at Athlone on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

The young Scots, currently fourth in the championship, will face a difficult test in Athlone against an Ireland side that’s kept on top of the championship table by a superior points difference to second-placed England – who they defeated 10-25 at the home of Gloucester, Kingsholm.

Scotland under-20 head coach, Eamon John, said: “We fed England points and let them get away from us. Analysis showed that all the points they gained were all avoidable, self inflicted and unfortunately very costly, however, we were by far the better side in the second-half and we controlled the tempo.”

On the prospect of facing an Ireland side currently top of the championship table, John added: “They are a good side and favourites for the championship. Credit to them, we respect them but we certainly don’t fear them.

“They’ve made Athlone a bit of a fortress. All the big guns have been scalped there but we’re going to concentrate on the lessons learned through experience against England and go there with a real hunger.”

SCOTLAND TEAM TO PLAY IRELAND, Athlone on Friday 19 March (kick-off 7.35pm)

15 Tom Brown (Edinburgh Accies)*

14 Oliver Grove (Worcester Warriors)
13 James Johnstone (Currie)*
12 Alex Dunbar (Selkirk)*
11 Dougie Fife (Currie)**

10 Alex Blair (Edinburgh Accies)*
9 Alex Black (Leeds Carnegie)

1 Nicky Little (Hawick)*
2 Alun Walker (Currie)
3 Colin Phillips (Stewart’s Melville)**
4 Matthew Reid (Heriot’s)
5 Robert Harley (West of Scotland)*
6 Michael Maltman (Heriot’s)**
8 Stuart McInally CAPTAIN (Watsonians)*
7 David Denton (Edinburgh Accies)*

Replacements
16 Lindsey Gibson (Melrose)
17 George Hunter (Glasgow Hawks)
18 Aaron Hall (Newcastle Falcons)
19 Callum Stidston-Nott (London Scottish)
20 Kris Hamilton (Caithness)**
21 Matthew Scott (Currie)**
22 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Hawks)***

* 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
*** Duncan Weir will remain a Glasgow Hawks player until the end of the season when he will join Glasgow Warriors

SCOTLAND UNDER-20 6 NATIONS SCHEDULE
Friday 5 February – Scotland under-20 8-8 France under-20, Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
Friday 12 February – Wales under-20 20-12 Scotland under-20, Cardiff Arms Park
Friday 26 February – Italy under-20 16-18 Scotland under-20, Capoterra, Sardinia
Friday 12 March – Scotland under-20 6-27 England (Firhill, kick-off 7pm)
Friday 19 March – Ireland under-20 v Scotland under-20 (Dubarry Park, Athlone, Ireland, kick-off 7.35pm)