Young Scots Stake Claim For Summer Selection

Some of the country’s brightest young talents have the chance to further their claims to play a part in the IRB Junior World Championship when Scotland under-20A take on Japan under-20 at Murrayfield on Wednesday 20 April (kick-off 3pm).

The clash, which takes place on one of the back pitches behind the national stadium, will see a combination of players who took part in the recent 6 Nations Championship and several fresh prospects seek to impress ahead of a squad being finalised for the summer activity in northern Italy.

Some of the country’s brightest young talents have the chance to further their claims to play a part in the IRB Junior World Championship when Scotland under-20A take on Japan under-20 at Murrayfield on Wednesday 20 April (kick-off 3pm).

The clash, which takes place on one of the back pitches behind the national stadium, will see a combination of players who took part in the recent 6 Nations Championship and several fresh prospects seek to impress ahead of a squad being finalised for the summer activity in northern Italy.

Scotland under-20A head coach Phil Smith confirmed: “The Japan match is a great opportunity for these players to put their hands up at a time when [Scotland under-20 head coach] Peter Wright is refining his thoughts for the World Championship.

“It’s very much the case that there are still places to play for in the tournament squad, and the challenge for the guys is to show their wares in the best possible way next week.

“In the squad we’ve picked for the Japan game, there’s a good mix of players who’ve had a taste of international under-20 rugby, and boys who will be looking to prove they’ve got what it takes to thrive at this level. We may add one or two more to the mix at the start of match week, but we’re very happy with what we have as it stands.

“The match itself will be a challenging one, because we know the Japanese will come at us with a very rapid, very fluid style that will need some careful handling. As ever, it’s very much about what we do, and how we impose our own game.

“We’ve had a couple of get-togethers over the last month, and it’s great to see that the guys have confidence in how we want to play. Now we need to make sure that translates into a positive, winning performance on the pitch come next Wednesday.”

The Murrayfield match is the final stop in a three-match Scottish tour for Japan under-20. They beat a Stirling County XV 34-19 at Bridgehaugh on Tuesday night, and face West of Scotland at Burnbrae on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

A collection at Tuesday’s game saw some £1800 raised for the victims of the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the idea being the brainchild of Stirling County mini Finn Mcllwraith. A similar collection will take place on Saturday.

SCOTLAND UNDER-20A SQUAD TO PLAY JAPAN UNDER-20 AT MURRAYFIELD (3G PITCH, BACK PITCHES) ON WEDNESDAY 20 APRIL, KICK-OFF 3PM

Backs: Sam Atkin (Edinburgh Accies), Bruce Colvin (Melrose), Jamie Forbes (Watsonians), Fraser Gillies (Racing Metro 92), Craig Jackson (Melrose), Harris Jones (Boroughmuir), Lee Millar (Gala), Harry Mountain (Team Northumbria), Tom Steven (Glasgow Hawks), Steven Turnbull (Hamilton)

Forwards: Alex Allan (Loughborough University), Richard Ferguson (Melrose), Nick Fraser (Boroughmuir), Gary Graham (Gala), Greig Jones (Boroughmuir), Chris Keen (Kelso), Andy Kirkland (Glasgow Hawks), Andrew Nagel (Jed-Forest), Cammy Orr (Boroughmuir), Andrew Redmayne (Dundee HSFP), Grant Runciman (Melrose), Lawrie Seydak (Heriot’s), Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir).