Glasgow Warriors and Currie lock, Jonny Gray will captain the Scotland under-20 team for their opening 6 Nations clash against the Auld Enemy on Friday (1 February, Brickfields Recreation Ground (Plymouth Albion), kick-off 5.45pm).
Gray, who will lead the team for the first time, will be joined by elite development players Rory Hughes (winger, Scotland 7s), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (scrum-half, Edinburgh Rugby) and Adam Ashe (back-row, Glasgow Warriors) in the starting line-up.
From the Scottish club game Keith Buchan (Boroughmuir) is at full-back, his club team-mate Damian Hoyland slots in on the wing; from Gala Chris Auld (centre) and Russell Anderson (hooker) win starts; Ayr’s D’arcy Rae is at tight-head prop and Jamie Bhatti is at loose-head and is joined by his Stirling County team-mate Ruaridh Leishman in the back-row.
Completing the starting team are exiles Adam Sinclair (Perpignan) at lock, Will Bordill (Sale Sharks) in the back-row and Glasgow Warriors and Clermont Auvergne centre Mark Bennett.
Head coach, Sean Lineen, said: “It’s been a really exciting process working with a group of young players who are willing to learn and who want to do something special in this year’s 6 Nations and IRB Junior World Championship.
“We’ve had four camps and every single player has worked hard, so we’re going down there to give an outstanding performance and there are players who have missed out this time around who are very disappointed.
“However, I’ve been really impressed with the coaching group and the players. We’re really looking forward, with huge anticipation to Friday, so we can see what we can do and hopefully surprise people. England are always a very good team and they will be a good measure of where we are.
“Jonny Gray is an outstanding young man, who brings a lot of energy to this team. We’ve seen his older brother Richie at this level before and we know what he’s gone onto to do so far.
“Jonny is a real rugby man, who knows the game, he leads by example and he is well respected by both the players and the coaches.”
On the bench, the team is bolstered by one elite development player, Edinburgh Rugby’s Phil Cringle; two exiles, Ali Price (Bedford Blues) and Tommy Spinks (London Scottish) and five Scottish club players. These are Calum Black (Edinburgh Accies), Shawn Muir (Hawick), Cameron Turner, Alex Hagart (both Aberdeen Grammar) and Ayr’s Robbie Fergusson.
Edinburgh Accies full-back Ruaridh Young will travel as 24th man.
15 Keith Buchan (Boroughmuir)
14 Damian Hoyland (Boroughmuir)
13 *Chris Auld (Gala)
12 Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors / Clermont Auvergne)
11 Rory Hughes (Scotland 7s / Stirling County)
10 Tommy Allan (Western Province)
9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby / Heriot’s)
1 *Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County)
2 *Russell Anderson (Gala)
3 *D’arcy Rae (Ayr)
4 Jonny Gray (captain) (Glasgow Warriors / Currie)
5 Adam Sinclair (Perpignan)
6 Ruaridh Leishman (Stirling County)
7 Will Bordill (Sale Sharks)
8 Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors / Stirling County)
16 Calum Black (Edinburgh Accies)
17 Shawn Muir (Hawick)
18 Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Rugby / Stewart’s-Melville FP)
19 *Cameron Turner (Aberdeen Grammar)
20 Tommy Spinks (London Scottish)
21 Ali Price (Bedford Blues)
22 Alex Hagart (Aberdeen Grammar)
23 Robbie Fergusson (Ayr)
*sportscotland institute supported player
England under-20 v Scotland under-20
Friday 1 February
Brickfields Recreation Ground (Plymouth)
Scotland under-20 v Italy under-20
Friday 8 February
Scotland under-20 v Ireland under-20
Friday 22 February
Scotland under-20 v Wales under-20
Friday 8 March
Tulloch Caledonian Stadium (Inverness)
France under-20 v Scotland under-20
Sunday 17 March
Stade Amédée Domenech (Brive)