Brothers In Arms

In the ranks of Scotland under-20 are two players who can call on family experience as they prepare to take on their Italian counterparts at the San Michele Stadium on Friday evening.

Still seeking their first win, they head to the home ground of Rugby Calvisano with a big crowd expected in what is the heartland of Italian rugby.

For Fergus Scott, younger brother of Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby centre, Matt, it’s been a frustrating campaign thus far with injury ruling out the Currie hooker since the first game of the championships against England.  He's returned for the final game with a mandate to ensure the lineout hits the mark.

One target for the younger Scott is the towering presence of another who can call on a brother's experience of international rugby, Jonny Gray, younger sibling of Scotland star Richie.  The Hamilton second row is making his own giant strides, settling into the RBS 6 Nations for the under-20 side at the age of just 17, and celebrating his 18th birthday with teammates while on the road to Brescia.

Jonny said: “That first game against England was my debut for the under-20s and it was really nerve wracking.  I was all set and ready to be part of the under-18 squad and the call into the under-20s came totally out of the blue.  It was a crazy few weeks.

“It’s been a massive step-up, especially on the physical side of things but I’m learning all the time.  Guys like Harry Leonard have been great on giving advice and helping out, it’s really useful to have that coming from someone who’s in the professional game.”

Despite his youth compared to his teammates, Jonny has started every game for the under-20s this year and his impressed with his work rate and willing to act as a damaging ball carrier.

On hand, of course, is his older brother, who Jonny is happy to turn to for advice.

“He’ll sometimes have a wee word about what I should be trying to do and it’s great to have him there, particularly as we play the same position. 

“It was interesting playing in a training game against the national team as that’s the first time I’ve ever played against him, the first time we’ve been one on one. 

“To be honest he’s a pretty good role model to follow as he’s got an incredible work ethic.  I’ve seen how he trains and the amount of work that goes into it off the pitch and that’s really inspired me to put in as much work as I can.”

Scotland under-20 to play Italy under-20 at San Michele Stadium, Calvisano, Brescia (kick off 7pm local/6pm GMT)

15.Tommy Allan (Western Province)
14 Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Rugby/Edinburgh Accies)
13.Mark Bennett (Clermont Auvergne)
12.Finn Russell (Falkirk)
11.Michael Crawley (Boroughmuir)
10. Harry Leonard (Edinburgh Rugby) (Capt.)
9. Murray McConnell (Glasgow Warriors/Ayr)
1.Robin Hislop (Edinburgh Rugby)
2.Fergus Scott (Currie)
3.Alex Allan (Loughborough Students)
4.Adam Sinclair (Stirling County)
5.Jonny Gray (Hamilton)
6.Mitch Eadie (Bristol Rugby)
7.Will Bordill (Sale Sharks)
8.Callum Reid (Edinburgh Accies)
16. George Turner (Edinburgh Rugby/Stewart’s Melville))
17. Gavin Robertson (Dundee HSFP)
18. Andrew Redmayne (Dundee HSFP)
19. Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir)
20. Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County)
21. Matt Torrance (Ospreys)
22. Robbie Fergusson (Ayr)
23. Tom Steven (Glasgow Hawks)