Scotland under-20 head coach Peter Wright has made just two changes in his squad to play Samoa under-20 on Friday 22 June (kick-off 11am UK time) at the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town.
Edinburgh Rugby’s elite development player George Turner will make his second start at hooker, in place of Fergus Scott who hasn’t recovered in time from a shoulder knock received against Italy. This, in turn, sees Heriot’s Struan Cessford take his place on the bench, his first appearance since flying to South Africa last week. Turner’s Edinburgh Rugby team-mate, Robin Hislop, will provide cover at hooker.
In the backs centre Mark Bennett misses out on selection after failing a fitness test. Following a knock to his knee which hasn’t fully healed. He is replaced by Keith Buchan who will be eligible to play with the under-20s again next year. This sees winger Michael Crawley come onto the bench.
The young Scots will conclude their IRB Junior World Championship campaign with a ninth-place play-off final and will look to build on Sunday’s win against Italy (34-17), where a number of the players put in an outstanding shift.
Wright said: “We had our last training session this morning and the players are looking sharp. They have trained well and are raring to go.
“For a few reasons we have stuck as closely as possible to the 23 that played Italy, firstly, it’s recognition of their victory and the effort they put in individually and, secondly, they are working well together as a unit.
“With the way the pool draw for next year works, we will be in a group with Samoa, so the most important thing for me is that we set a marker against them. It’ll be good for the players to experience a physical island side and a massive positive if we win. We want to finish with a strong performance and take a step up in our rankings from last year, even if it is just one step.”
Scotland under-20 team to play Samoa under-20 at the University of the Western Cape on Friday 22 June (kick-off 11am, UK time) in the ninth-place play-off final:
15 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby / Heriot’s)
14 Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Rugby / Edinburgh Accies)
13 Keith Buchan (Boroughmuir)
12 Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors / Ayr)
11 Tom Steven (Glasgow Hawks)
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 / Lougborough Students)
4 Gary Graham (Gala)
5 Andrew Redmayne (Dundee HSFP)
6 Callum Reid (Edinburgh Accies)
7 Will Bordill (Sale Sharks)
8 Mitch Eadie (Bristol Rugby)
16 Struan Cessford (Heriot’s)
17 Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County)
18 Gavin Robertson (Dundee HSFP)
19 Andrew Nagle (Jed-Forest)
20 Stuart Smith (Aberdeen Grammar)
21 Matt Torrance (Ospreys)
22 Tommy Allan (Western Province)
23 Michael Crawley (Boroughmuir)