Scotland under-20 head coach Peter Wright has made four changes to his starting XV for the second match of their campaign at the IRB Junior World Championships in South Africa.
Following on from a tough outing against a highly rated Australia side, Wright has made one change in the backs and three in the pack for the clash with France on Friday 8 June at the University of the Western Cape (kick-off 3.45pm, UK time).
Ayr and Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Murray McConnell takes the number 9 shirt. He replaces Ospreys’ Matt Torrance.
In the forwards, Gala’s George Graham makes his first start on the flank having received his first cap on Monday; Bristol Rugby’s Mitch Eadie moves from the second row to number 8 replacing Andrew Nagle, while the number 4 shirt is taken up by Aberdeen Grammar’s Stuart Smith. Finally, George Turner of Edinburgh Rugby and Stewart’s Melville starts at hooker in place of Fergus Scott.
Wright said: “The challenge I have given the players is to still be in the game after 60 minutes. In order to do that I have named the team that I believe will bring the most physicality.
“First of all Murray is a more combative scrum-half, particularly around the contact, therefore he will bolster our defence. Myself and the coaches felt this was the right time to bring him into the starting XV. Then in the forwards Gary, George and Stuart are all very physical players who will also help strengthen our defence and compete well at the breakdown.
The Scots will look to improve on their opening match in the IRB Junior World Championship having shipped 11 tries against Australia.
Despite defeat to France in this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, 30-21, they will take heart from a stirring second half performance at Netherdale in that game, in which they outplayed their illustrious opponents for much of the second forty.
Wright continued: “This is a different game than in the RBS 6 Nations. We’re coming off the back of a heavy defeat where we let ourselves down. All of us want a far better performance.”
The young Scots will close their campaign, in the group stages, against Argentina on June 12.
Scotland under-20 team to play France under-20 on Friday 8 June 2012 at the University of the Western Cape in the IRB Junior World Championship (kick-off 3.45pm UK time):
15 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby / Heriot’s)
14 Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Rugby / Edinburgh Accies)
13 Mark Bennett (Clermont Auvergne)
12 Finn Russell (Glasgow Warrriors / Falkirk)
11 Mike Crawley (Boroughmuir)
10 Harry Leonard (Captain) (Edinburgh Rugby)
9 Murray McConnell (Glasgow Warriors / Ayr)
1 Robin Hislop (Edinburgh Rugby / Boroughmuir)
2 George Turner (Edinburgh Rugby / Stewart’s Melville)
3 Alex Allan (Edinburgh Rugby / Loughborough Students)
4 Stuart Smith (Aberdeen Grammar)
5 Andy Redmayne (Dundee HSFP)
6 Gary Graham (Gala)
7 Will Bordill (Sale Sharks)
8 Mitch Eadie (Bristol Rugby)
16 Fergus Scott (Glasgow Warriors / Currie)
17 Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County)
18 Gavin Robertson (Dundee HSFP)
19 Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir)
20 Callum Reid (Edinburgh Accies)
21 Matt Torrance (Ospreys)
22 Tommy Allan (Western Province)
23 Tom Steven (Glasgow Hawks)