Competition Fierce For Under-17S

Scotland under-17 take on their English counterparts in Melrose on Sunday (25 March, kick-off 2pm) in their only international fixture of the season.Although this is a short international programme, the competition for places has been intense with a national trial two weeks ago and then a final selection at a training camp last weekend.

Head coach Peter Laverie said: "We have the length and breadth of Britain covered; Ben Vellacott (scrum half) plays at Barnstaple and Ruaridh Knott (flanker) is with Highland RFC while Karl Main (openside) comes from Dunbar and our captain Magnus Bradbury (No.8) hails from Oban."

Photo: Scotland under-17 took on England in 2011 at the Wellington Festival

He said: "The players have responded well to the level of competition for places and it means we have a stronger squad throughout. We have a set of quick players and they’re looking forward to playing a fast game. We have Nick Gray, son of 1990 Grand Slam hero Chris Gray in the second row while Magnus, Ewan Bulger, Harry Walker and George Horne are all involved with the Regional Academy, although I’m sure one or two others will have put their hands up by the end of the programme."

This is the first opportunity for the majority of these players to experience international rugby and it will be a huge physical challenge against England.

Laverie added: "They’ve worked hard though and we had a good preparatory camp last weekend at Tulliallan and Dollar. The players are excited and so keen to do well for Scotland, which is great to see, and I’m sure they’ll be giving it their all."

The game kicks off at 2pm at The Greenyards and entry is free. Follow the action on Twitter @scotlandteam.

Scotland under-17 

15. Angus Rennie (Gordon Schools Huntly & Aberdeen Grammar)

14. Ruaraidh Smith (Oakham School & Northampton Saints)

13. Sean Mackle (Loretto & Boroughmuir)

12. Matthew Douglas (Hawick HS & Hawick YM)

11. Craig Rintoul (Strathallan & Howe of Fife)

10. George Horne (Strathallan & Howe of Fife) *

9.  Ben Vellacott (Ivybridge College & Barnstaple)

1. Cameron Fenton (Strathallan & Howe of Fife)

2. Grant Stewart (Strathaven Academy & Dalziel)

3. Rory Mason (Ashfield & Paviors)

4. Matt Poole (George Watson’s College)

5. Nick Gray (Trent College)

6. Ruaridh Knott (Highland)

7. Karl Main (Dunbar GS & Dunbar)

8. Magnus Bradbury (Merchiston Castle School & Oban Lorne) * (Captain)


16. Ross Graham(Hawick PSA)

17. William Dineen (Dollar Academy & Stirling County)

18. Andrew McWilliam (Edinburgh Academy & Currie)

19. Ewan Bulger (Arran HS & Ayr) *

20. Rory Simpson (Edinburgh Academy)

21. Ben Johnston (Marr)

22. Luke Earle-Wright (Robert Gordon’s College & Deeside)

23. Alex Swan
24. Archie Russell (Stirling County)

* Member of Performance Player Development Programme supported by AIS (Area Institute of Sport)