Young Scots to face Australians at Myreside

After hosting the Wallabies in the final viagogo Autumn Test last month, Scotland will again face an Australian side before the bells, at age-grade level.

Photo: left to right, Neil Irvine-Hess, Gavin Lowe and Magnus Bradbury, all members of last year's Scotland under-18 squad and included in this season's extended under-20 squad

After hosting the Wallabies in the final viagogo Autumn Test last month, Scotland will again face an Australian side before the bells, at age-grade level.

With two camps apiece under their belts, a mix of Scotland’s older under-18 and younger under-20 players will meet an Australia Schools side, at Myreside in Edinburgh on Sunday 8 December (kick-off 4pm, admission free).

Head of Performance Development, Stephen Gemmell said: “This is the first time we’ve played an Australian Schools side in 11 years and it’s very much a standalone, one-off fixture.


“Their age banding is different from ours, so it means our side will be a mix of age grades, the majority being in this year’s under-18 and under-20 extended squads.”

The side, which for the purpose of this game only, will be called Scotland under-19, will be coached primarily by the Scotland under-18 coaches, who know the players well either from their involvement last season or in the early part of this season.

Added Gemmell: “It’s unusual for an Australian Schools side to tour but a good fit for us to have this game as part of the under-18 into under-20 programme.

“It’s also a good chance for us to look at selection for Scotland under-20 going into the 6 Nations.”

Recent inclusions in Scotland’s national squad, Jonny Gray and Mark Bennett, alongside caps Stuart Hogg and Duncan Weir came through Scotland’s age grade programme while current Wallabies Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale and David Pocock are all products of the Australian Schoolboys system.

Scotland under-18 head coach Eddie Pollock, coach of the combined squad, said: "Everyone is really looking forward to this fixture as it's the first opportunity for these players at this level to play a southern hemisphere side.

"We've seen videos of the Australians - they're a big, physical side and we expect them to improve as their tour progresses.


"Our young players are going to get a quality game and it will be good to see not only how our older under-18 players have improved since the FIRA European competition in May but how many of them will put their hands up for inclusion in the wider under-20 squad for the 2014 6 Nations."

The Australian touring squad's first matches took place against a Wales A team in Neath (22 November), Wales (28 November) and Ospreys (1 December) and they meet England at Harrow (4 December) before the match at Myreside. The tour then moves on to Leinster Schools (11 December), Ireland (14 December) and finally Munster Schools (17 December), before they head home in time for Christmas.

The young Scots, meanwhile, return to their own age grades for further training camps around the Christmas and New Year period and final selection for their respective squads in the first quarter of the year.

Scotland under-19 squad v Australia Schools, Sunday 8 December at Myreside, Edinburgh (admission free)

To be selected from:

Forwards

Cameron Fenton (Strathallan School / Howe of Fife)
Gary Robertson (Gala Academy / Gala Wanderers)
Angus Wallace (Boroughmuir)
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)
Ross Graham (Hawick)
Jake Kerr (George Watson's College) *
Scott Cummings (Kelvinside Academy / Glasgow Hawks)
Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians / Edinburgh Rugby) **
Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh Academicals) *
Jamie Ritchie (Strathallan School / Howe of Fife) *
Scott Burnside (Heriots FP) *
Ally Miller (George Watson's College) *
Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir / Edinburgh Rugby) **

Backs

Hugh Fraser (Merchiston Castle School) *
Ben Vellacott (Hartpury College / Worcester Warriors)
Adam Hastings (Millfield School)
George Horne (Currie) *
Richard Taylor (Loretto School / Melrose) *
Rory Hutchinson (MPW Cambridge / Shelford)
Ben Robbins (George Watson's College)
Angus Rennie (Aberdeen Grammar) *
Ruari Howarth (Gala Academy / Gala Wanderers)
Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks / Glasgow Warriors) **

* member of Scottish Rugby's Regional Academy supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport
**Elite Development Player 2013-14