Scotland under-20 have made two changes to their squad for their final pool match in the Junior World Championship against their Irish counterparts in Rovigo, Italy, tomorrow.
Head coach Peter Wright has once again gone for a five/two forwards/backs split among his substitutes and it is in this area of the squad that the changes are made, thus the starting XV that gave a good account of themselves against England under-20 midweek will take to the field anew tomorrow.
Stand-off Stuart Edwards (pictured) and back-row forward Alex Spence have both passed fitness tests and are preferred in the 22 to the Melrose duo Craig Jackson and Grant Runciman. Other than the suspended Glasgow Warriors back Stuart Hogg, all other players in the 26-strong squad were available for selection.
Scotland under-20 manager John Manson said the squad had taken confidence from so much of their performance against England, two late tries giving a gloss to their opponents’ 39-18 victory.
“We have improved from the Six Nations and there is a real belief in the squad that we are capable of scoring points and tries against some of the best teams,” he explained.
The challenge for the Scots tomorrow is to get the better of an Irish side also searching for their first success in the competition and who have proved indomitable competitors at this age-level, winning five of the last six contests between the countries.
Scotland under-20 (sponsor RBS) v Ireland under-20 in the IRB Junior World Championship at the Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo, Italy, tomorrow (kick-off 8.10pm local time, 7.10pm BST)
15 Glenn Bryce (Stirling County)
14 Sam Atkin (Edinburgh Accies)
13 Mark Bennett (Clermont Auvergne)
12 Danny Gilmour (Stirling County)
11 Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Hawks)
10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN
9 Sean Kennedy (Stirling County)
1 Alex Allan (Loughborough University)
2 David Cherry (Team Northumbria)
3 Colin Phillips (Edinburgh Rugby/Stewart’s Melville)
4 Mitchell Todd (Nottingham)
5 Robert McAlpine (West of Scotland/Glasgow Warriors)
6 Mitch Eadie (Boroughmuir)
8 James Tyas (Bath)
7 Hamish Watson (Leicester Tigers)
16 Richard Ferguson (Melrose)
17 George Hunter (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
18 Robin Hislop (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir)
19 Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir)
20 Jamie Stevenson (Westcombe Park)
21 Stuart Edwards (Stirling County)
22 Alex Spence (Heriot’s)