Wright In Rallying Call Ahead Of Irb Junior World Championship

Scotland under-20 will leave for the IRB Junior World Championship with a passionate call to arms from head coach Peter Wright ringing in their ears.

The young Scots face a testing initiation in the summer tournament, which kicks off in northern Italy in a fortnight’s time, but Wright has backed his players to draw on the lessons learned during the recent 6 Nations campaign and give a positive account of themselves.

Scotland under-20 will leave for the IRB Junior World Championship with a passionate call to arms from head coach Peter Wright ringing in their ears.

The young Scots face a testing initiation in the summer tournament, which kicks off in northern Italy in a fortnight’s time, but Wright has backed his players to draw on the lessons learned during the recent 6 Nations campaign and give a positive account of themselves.

The Pool C schedule sees Scotland under-20 tackle South Africa in Padova on Friday 10 June (kick-off 7.10pm BST), before travelling to nearby Treviso to play England on Tuesday 14 June (kick-off 5.10pm BST) and closing the group phase with a game against Ireland in Rovigo on Saturday 18 June (kick-off 7.10pm BST).

The South Africa and England matches will both be screened live by Sky Sports, with streaming available on the IRB website (www.irb.com/jwc).

Wright today acknowledged the scale of the challenge awaiting his charges, but emphasised the encouragement he has drawn from their displays in training since preparation for the Junior World Championship began.

The head coach said: “The quality of opposition in our pool is there for all to see, with a team [South Africa] who finished third in last year’s competition and another two [England and Ireland] who showed in the 6 Nations Championship that they’re capable of causing anybody problems.

“We respect the level of ability and intensity they’ll all bring to the table, but we’ve got a confidence in how we want to approach these games and the players have shown real buy-in with the work they’ve done on the training paddock.

“The message that lingers from the 6 Nations is that we’ve got players with the skills and the attitude to really help us out on the field. We were hugely disappointed not to come away with better results, but there were plenty of things we can take forward into this tournament and hopefully do ourselves justice.

“If you look at our backline, for instance, there’s a lot to be excited about, particularly when you think that guys like Duncan Weir, Stuart Hogg, Mark Bennett, Mike Doneghan (pictured right scoring against Italy) and Kerr Gossman are coming to the competition with experience of the professional environment.

“Up front, we’ve got a core of lads who were with us throughout the 6 Nations, and who know exactly what’s required at this level. We’re excited about the ball players we have in the back row, and the task now is to ensure a quality and quantity of set-piece possession that lets us build the game we want to play.”

Ahead of their opening fixture, Scotland under-20 are to spend a week in Varese, to the north of Milan, where they will take part in two joint training sessions with their Australian counterparts, before squaring up to the junior Wallabies in a challenge match comprised of three 20-minute sessions on Friday 3 June.

Wright confirmed: “It’s a big boost for us to be heading out to Italy promptly. It gives us a good opportunity to get used to the conditions we’ll be playing in, and the time we’ll spend with the Australians will be another helpful step towards making sure we’re in exactly the right place come kick-off against the South Africans.

“It’s about each and every member of the squad understanding their role, and coming together over the next four weeks to show just what it means to them to represent the nation.”

The opposition, venue and kick-off times for Scotland’s final two tournament matches, on Wednesday 22 June and Sunday 26 June, will be determined by results during the pool phase.

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 (Bristol), 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 (live on Sky Sports/IRB website streaming)
Tuesday 14 June, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso, kick-off 6.10pm (5.10pm BST): England v Scotland (live on Sky Sports/IRB website streaming)
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