Scotland under-18 will face a formidable setpiece challenge when they meet their Romanian counterparts in the FIRA/AER Tier 1 competition in the south of France tomorrow (Saturday).
Head coach Grant McKelvey has made nine changes to the team that started in the stand-alone international against Wales under-18 at Swansea last weekend, including a first start for Berwick prop Callum Maguire and Exiles No 8 Danny Kennedy who impressed off the bench against the Welsh, where the Scots scored four tries in a 29-45 defeat.
The other changes see Josh Welsh, Keith Buchan and Corey Venus start in the backs and Alex Henderson, Adam Barnett, Russell Anderson and Jamie Bhatti in the pack.
The competition rules mean that all 26 players in the squad must make at least one start in the first two games.
McKelvey said: “The scrum will be an area for us to improve upon this weekend and I expect the Romanians will be big and powerful in the setpiece.”
Should Scotland win the game tomorrow they will face the winners of a match between Germany and Belgium in Tuesday’s semi-final.
Scotland under-18 v Romania under-18 in Tarbes, France tomorrow (Saturday 16 April), kick-off 4.30pm French time, 3.30pm BST
15 Josh Welsh (Selkirk)
14 Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Academy)*
13 Keith Buchan (Strathallan)
12 Chris Auld (Dumfries/Austin Friars School) CAPTAIN
11 Corey Venus (Leicester Tigers/Leicester College)
10 Tommy Allan (London Wasps/RGS High Wycombe)
9 Scott Steele (Dumfries/Merchiston Castle School)*
1 Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County)
2 Russell Anderson (Langholm)
3 Callum Maguire (Berwick)
4 Callum Templeton (Dumfries)*
5 Adam Barnett (GHA/Mearns Castle School)
6 Alex Henderson (Strathallan)
8 Danny Kennedy (Congleton)
7 Will Bordill (Sale Sharks/Sandbach School)
16 Jonathan Matthews (Leeds Carnegie/Prince Henry’s Otley)
17 Robby Wilson (Boroughmuir/Dunbar GS)*
18 Colin Hutton (Stirling County)
19 Adam Sinclair (Stirling County/Loretto)
20 Stuart Graham (Hawick PSA)
21 Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Academy)*
22 Sam Hidalgo Clyne (Merchiston Castle School)
23 Adam Ashe (Stirling County)
24 Robbie Fergusson (Ayr)
25 Matthew Lamb (Stirling County)
26 Rory Hughes (GHA/Glasgow Met College)*
* = Member of Player Performance Development Programme supported by Area Institutes of Sport