Scotland under-20 were edged 24-21 by their Irish counterparts in a warm up match for 2013 Junior World Championships (JWC) at Ashbourne near Dublin today.
Three well-executed tries from Adam Ashe, Alex Henderson and Rory Hughes were all converted by stand-off Tommy Allan to exert considerable pressure on the men in green, despite being shorn of midfield options before kick off.
Centres Mark Bennett and Chris Auld picked up injuries in the warm-up, forcing the side to shuffle the back division and offer starts to Ruaridh Young and Robbie Fergusson who performed admirably.
With the looming World Championship matches scheduled in quick succession, head coach Sean Lineen also sought to try out new combinations in the pack, with the front-row trio of Robbie Wilson, Reyner Kennedy and D’Arcy Rae also putting their hand up for summer selection.
Lineen said: “It was great to get the boys back together. We had a really good hit out using the whole squad and took the opportunity to see a number of players.
“It’s not all about the result in these warm-up matches and I was pleased with the way the boys performed, running in three cracking tries against a strong Irish team at home.
“We re-jigged the back-line and the front-row, all of whom played well, while it was also good to see winger Jamie Farndale get his first game under his belt after a year out with a broken leg.
It’s all about combinations and testing our strength and depth and I was delighted with the effort.
-- Scotland U20 head coach, Sean Lineen
“It’s suited us well to reiterate the intensity and physicality that awaits the players in the World Championships ahead of our camp which starts next week. After that we’re off to France.”
Scotland will face Argentina (5 June), Wales (9 June) and Samoa (13 June) in Pool C of the JWC in France, with results determining their placing in the knockout rounds on 18 and 23 June (detail below).
Scotland under-20: Darcy Rae; Jamie Farndale, Robbie Fergusson, Ruaridh Young, Rory Hughes; Tommy Allan, Scott Steele; Robbie Wilson, Reyner Kennedy, D’Arcy Rae, Andrew Crammond, Jonny Gray CAPTAIN, Tommy Spinks, Alex Henderson, Adam Ashe. Substitutes: Callum Black, Shawn Muir, Phil Cringle, Ruaridh Leishman, Adam Sinclair, Eoghan Masterton, Russell Anderson, Ally Price, Ben Coooper, Sam Chalmers.
Scotland under-20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championship in France 5-23 June:
Backs: Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies), Rory Hughes (Scotland 7s/Stirling County), Damien Hoyland (Boroughmuir), Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Rugby/Edinburgh Accies), J J Kilmartin (Bath Rugby), Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors/Stirling County), Robbie Fergusson (Ayr), Chris Auld (Gala)*, Tommy Allan (Perpignan), Alex Hagart (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby), Ali Price (Bedford Blues) and Scott Steele (Leicester Tigers).
Forwards: Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County)*, Shawn Muir (Hawick), Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Rugby/Stewart’s-Melville FP), Russell Anderson (Gala*), Callum Black (Edinburgh Accies), Reyner Kennedy (Stirling County), D’Arcy Rae (Ayr)*, Robbie Wilson (Boroughmuir)*, Ruairidh Leishman (Stirling County), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors/Currie) CAPTAIN, Adam Sinclair (Perpignan), Alex Henderson (Boroughmuir), Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors/Stirling County), Tommy Spinks (London Scottish), Will Bordill (Sale Sharks) and Andy Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar).
* = supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport
Scotland under-20’s matches:
Scotland U20 v Argentina U20, Wednesday 5 June, Stade Pascal Laporte, Nantes, kick-off 8pm local time
Scotland U20 v Wales U20, Sunday 9 June, Stade Pascal Laporte, Nantes, kick-off 5pm local time
Scotland U20 v Samoa U20, Thursday 13 June, Stade Pascal Laporte, Nantes, kick-off 7pm local time
Scotland’s two subsequent opponents will depend on how they fare in the above matches.