Weir Returns As Scots Name Squad For Irb Junior World Championship

Scotland under-20 head coach Peter Wright today named his 26-man squad for the IRB Junior World Championship which begins in just over a month’s time in northern Italy.

The core of the squad is formed by players who took part in the 6 Nations Championship during February and March, and there is also a welcome return for Glasgow Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir, one of several performers able to call on the experience of last year’s Junior World Championship in Argentina.

Scotland under-20 head coach Peter Wright today named his 26-man squad for the IRB Junior World Championship which begins in just over a month’s time in northern Italy.

The core of the squad is formed by players who took part in the 6 Nations Championship during February and March, and there is also a welcome return for Glasgow Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir, one of several performers able to call on the experience of last year’s Junior World Championship in Argentina.

The Scots begin their Pool C campaign on Friday 10 June with a tie against South Africa in Padova, before moving on to nearby Treviso to tackle England on Tuesday 14 June. Their final group fixture sees them face Ireland in Rovigo on Saturday 18 June, with their remaining two tournament matches dependent on performance in the pool phase.

Scotland under-20 and their Australian counterparts will conduct a number of live training sessions against each other in the week leading up to their respective opening assignments, with the Scots’ preparations also featuring a warm-up match against England Counties under-20 in Leeds this evening.

Wright today looked ahead to the summer activity and hailed Weir’s inclusion as a “significant boost” for what he believes will be three “massively challenging games” in the first eight days of the tournament.

Wright said: “We’re facing three very capable opponents in the pool phase, and there’s absolute clarity on our part about the qualities we’ll need to bring to the table to ensure we compete in those games.

“We know from previous encounters that all three teams will be very physical and will look to exploit their ability in the set-piece, so our own will have to be consistent and provide the right sort of platform for what we feel has the potential to be an exciting backline.

“Another thing we’ll need is the ability to control possession and to make sure we bring some continuity to our game so that we’re playing on the front foot as much as possible. In that regard, it’s great to be able to call on someone like Duncan Weir.

“He has a number of excellent attributes: his ability to control games, his confidence, and his experience not just of this tournament but of Magners League rugby and the Scotland A set-up which he broke into last November.

“He’s the sort of player who will keep the scoreboard ticking over and keep you in contention, and I know the boys are delighted to have him in the fold.”

Three players, Loughborough University prop Alex Allan, Boroughmuir No.8 Jamie Swanson and Stirling County centre Danny Gilmour, are in line to make their Scotland under-20 debuts during the tournament.

Explaining their selection, Wright said: “Alex has impressed us in camp with his scrummaging and his determination. He’s one of a number of players who are young enough to be available to us next season and we feel it’s a great opportunity to give him experience of the environment.

“Jamie is a powerful runner off the base of the scrum who looked sharp in the recent Scotland under-20A game against Japan, while Danny gives us the option of a different blend in midfield. We’ve got good ball players like Mark Bennett and Craig Jackson, and Danny offers us physicality and directness.

“Elsewhere, Grant Runciman has really earned his selection on the back of some very good performances for a successful Melrose team, and I’ll be looking to guys like him and [fellow flanker] Hamish Watson to get on the shoulder of our runners in what is a very attack-minded backline.”

“The next few weeks are a case of getting the players absolutely comfortable with the game we want to play so that come the day of the South Africa game, they’re in the best place to perform.

“The game against England Counties this evening is a part of that process. It will be a useful run-out that will allow us to develop combinations and the like ahead of us leaving for Italy.”

SCOTLAND UNDER-20 SQUAD FOR IRB JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN ITALY

Backs: Sam Atkin (Edinburgh Accies), Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors/Ayr), Glenn Bryce (Heriot’s), Michael Doneghan (Glasgow Warriors/Stirling County), Danny Gilmour (Stirling County), Stuart Edwards (Stirling County), Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors/Hawick), Craig Jackson (Melrose), Sean Kennedy (Stirling County), Jamie Stevenson (Westcombe Park), Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors).

Forwards: Alex Allan (Loughborough University), David Cherry (Team Northumbria), Mitch Eadie (Filton College), Richard Ferguson (Melrose), Robin Hislop (Edinburgh/Boroughmuir), George Hunter (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks), Robert McAlpine (West of Scotland), Colin Phillips (Edinburgh/Stewart's Melville), Grant Runciman (Melrose), Alex Spence (Heriot’s), Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir), Mitchell Todd (Nottingham), James Tyas (Bath), Hamish Watson (Leicester Tigers)

2011 IRB JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, ITALY, 3-26 JUNE

POOL C

Friday 10 June, Stadio Plebiscito, Padova, kick-off 8.10pm (7.10pm BST): South Africa v Scotland
Tuesday 14 June, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso, kick-off 6.10pm (5.10pm BST): England v Scotland
Saturday 18 June, Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo, kick-off 8.10pm (7.10pm BST): Ireland v Scotland

At the end of the pool phase the teams will be seeded based on the position in which they finished in
their respective pools:

1st Seed: Pool winner with most competition points
2nd Seed: Pool winner with 2nd most competition points
3rd Seed: Pool winner with 3rd most competition points
4th Seed: Pool second place with most competition points
5th Seed: Pool second place with 2nd most competition points
6th Seed: Pool second place with 3rd most competition points
7th Seed: Pool third place with most competition points
8th Seed: Pool third place with 2nd most competition points
9th Seed: Pool third place with 3rd most competition points
10th Seed: Pool fourth place with most competition points
11th Seed: Pool fourth place with 2nd most competition points
12th Seed: Pool fourth place with 3rd most competition points

Based on the seedings, the allocation of fourth round matches will be as follows:

Wednesday 22 June (kick-offs local time, BST=1hr behind):

6pm: 10th Seed v 11th Seed, Rovigo (match 19)
8.10pm: 9th Seed v 12th Seed, Rovigo (match 20)

6pm: 6th Seed v 7th Seed, Padova (match 21)
8.10 pm: 5th Seed v 8th Seed, Padova (match 22)

6pm: 2nd Seed v 3rd Seed, Treviso (match 23)
8.10pm: 1st Seed v 4th Seed, Treviso (match 24)

Sunday 26 June (kick-offs local time, BST=1hr behind):

12noon: Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20, Rovigo
2.10pm: Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20, Rovigo
12 noon:  Loser Match 21 v Loser Match 22, Treviso
2,10pm:  Winner Match 21 v Winner Match 22, Treviso
5pm:  Loser Match 23 v Loser Match 24, Padova
7.10pm:  Winner Match 23 v Winner Match 24, Padova

SCOTLAND UNDER-20 SQUAD FOR WARM-UP GAME AGAINST ENGLAND COUNTIES UNDER-20 TONIGHT AT WEST PARK LEEDS RFC, KICK-OFF 7.30PM

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors/Hawick)

14 Glenn Bryce (Heriot’s)
13 Sam Atkin (Edinburgh Accies)
12 Danny Gilmour (Stirling County)
11 Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

10 Stuart Edwards (Stirling County)
9 Sean Kennedy (Stirling County)

1 Alex Allan (Loughborough University)
2 Richard Ferguson (Melrose)
3 Colin Phillips (Edinburgh/Stewart's Melville)
4 Mitchell Todd (Nottingham)
5 Robert McAlpine (West of Scotland)
6 Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir)
7 Grant Runciman (Melrose)
8 James Tyas (Bath)

SUBSTITUTES

16 Michael Lyness (Edinburgh Accies)
17 George Hunter (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
18 Robin Hislop (Edinburgh/Boroughmuir)
19 Mitch Eadie (Filton College)
20 Alex Spence (Heriot’s)
21 Andrew Redmayne (Dundee HSFP)
22 Bruce Colvin (Melrose)
23 Craig Jackson (Melrose)
24 Jamie Clark (Sheffield Tigers)
25 Harry Mountain (Team Northumbria)
26 Jamie Forbes (Watsonians)