Following the regional selection fixtures held at Dunbar RFC on Sunday 18 December – where Glasgow first took on Caledonia then Borders met Edinburgh – and the Exiles’ camp over the same weekend, a squad was selected for the annual under-18 camp, currently taking place over two days in Edinburgh.
Said head coach Eddie Pollock: “The first fixture at Dunbar was very competitive – lot of mistakes in the first half but you could see the improvement from the players as they went on. With the second fixture, Edinburgh were excellent in the first half but Borders stuck in."
Photo: Jonny Gray for Scotland under-18 against Belgium under-19 in August 2011
Pollock added: “It was very, very cold but the pitch was dry and the surface good. Quite a few of the guys put their hands up that day, making it difficult to finalise names for the camp.”
The day prior to these fixtures, Pollock had attended the under-18 Exiles development camp in Sheffield, followed on 18 December by specialist defence coach, Simon Cross.
Exiles’ performance manager Rob Brierley added: “This was probably the strongest under-18 camp since the programme’s rebirth in 2006 with 45 boys in attendance working hard on Scottish key themes and game play.
“Members of the Scotland under-18 training squad – Phil Cringle, Callum Irvine, Grant McConnell, Robbie Tait and Sam Moncur – were present while others such as Ben Cooper, Tom Moncur and Buchan Richardson, who played for Scotland under-17 last season, were also looking to re-stake their claims. Nick Gray, an under-17 this season and son of Chris Gray, the Grand Slam winning Scotland lock, is also someone to watch.”
The Scotland under-18 squad members attending the annual camp are as follows:
Magnus Bradbury (Oban HS / Oban Lorne)
Duncan Campbell (Mackie Academy / Mackie)
Jonny Gray (Calderglen HS / Cambuslang)
Neil Herron (Jordanhill School)
Shaun MacDonald (Dunblane HS / Stirling County)
James Malcolm (Hutchesons’ GS /GHA)
Murdo McAndrew (Strathallan / Howe of Fife)
Ross Murray (Dollar Academy)
Ramsay Young (George Watson’s College / Watsonians)
Chris Barnes (High School of Glasgow / Glasgow Hawks)
Ed Farquharson (Aberdeen GS)
Phil Cringle (Kirkham GS / Douglas)
Gavin Pringle (Peebles HS / Peebles)
Cameron Simpson (Edinburgh Academy / Edinburgh Accies)
Chris Dean (Edinburgh Academy)
Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Academy / Edinburgh Accies)
Rory Tolland (Earlston HS / Melrose)
Sam Pecqueur (Trinity Academy / BATS)
Darcy Rae (Marr College / Kilmarnock)
Euan McKean (George Watson's College)
Neil Irvine-Hess (George Watson’s College)
Robbie Tait (Millfield / Bath)
Grant McConnell (Millfield / Bath)
Gavin Lowe (Ayr)
Frankie Robson (Kelso HS / Kelso)
Gregor Mein (Borders College / Gala Wands)
Martin Hall (Stirling County)
Tommy Spinks (Fettes College)
Andrew Cramond (Royal High / BATS)
Blair Jardine (Kilmarnock)
An Exiles' under-18 XV will take on Boys Club of Wales in January and there will be a further squad camp in mid February after which a squad will be compiled for the final trial.