New year, new challenges for Scotland under-20 selection

Following camps in October and November, Scotland’s under-20 squad regroup early in the new year (6 to 9 January) as preparations intensify for their age grade 6 Nations in February and March and on to June’s IRB Junior World Championship.

The reduced squad of 32 includes a number of players who recently formed part of an under-19 team that took on Australian Schools at Myreside earlier this month, including try scorer Magnus Bradbury alongside his fellow Edinburgh Rugby EDP Neil Irvine-Hess and Glasgow Warriors EDP Gavin Lowe.

Head coach Sean Lineen said: "The last camp in mid November gave the players a taste of international rugby as they trained with the Scotland team. It proved a real test of their skill levels and living with the fast pace of international training. I was delighted with the concentration and confidence levels.

"The players who competed for Scotland under-19s stepped up to the mark physically against Australian Schools. This game was a huge physical test against an international side that had been on the road for three weeks. The forwards, especially, didn't take a backward step and you could see they enjoyed the fierce nature of the battle.

"This first January camp is very important as we prepare for Ireland. It is a particularly challenging camp where the contact work is accelerated and we play against a combined Melrose/Heriot's team at Murrayfield on 7 January.

“With the reduced number of players the coaches work closely with the players in improving individual skills and making sure the understanding is there in terms of game-plan."

The Scots come together again at the end of the month, in a final selection and with a game against a Scotland Club XV side, prior to taking on Ireland away in Athlone on Friday 31 January in their opening Six Nations fixture of 2014.

Scotland under-20 January camp squad
Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) **

Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *

Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors)

Ben Cooper (Boroughmuir)

Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)

Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **

Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **

Cameron Fenton (Strathallan/Howe of Fife) *

Ross Graham (Hawick)

George Horne (Currie) *

Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *

Blair Hutchison (Loughborough University/Melrose)

Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby)

Sam James (London Wasps)

Cameron Jeffery (Bristol University)

Joe Jones (College Rovers under-20/Durban Sharks under-19)

Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) **

Murdo McAndrew (Clermont Auvergne)

James Malcolm (Ayr)
Shaun MacDonald (Stirling County)

Sam Pecquer (Edinburgh Accies)

D’arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors)
Angus Rennie (Aberdeen Grammar) *

Iain Sexton (Edinburgh University)

Henry Slater (Durham University)

Tommy Spinks (London Scottish)

Richard Taylor (Loretto/Melrose) *

Sam Thomson (Worcester Students)

Angus Wallace (Boroughmuir)

Ben Vellacott (Worcester Warriors/Hartpury)

Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons)

Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies)

* member of Scottish Rugby’s Regional Academy supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport

** Elite Development Player 2013/14

Under-20 6 Nations Championship 2014

Friday 31 January Ireland v Scotland (kick-off 7.05pm) Dubarry Park, Athlone

Friday 7 February Scotland under-20 v England under-20, Netherdale, Galashiels (kick-off 7.30pm), admission free for concessions

Italy v Scotland (details tbc)

Friday 7 March Scotland under-20 v France under-20, Netherdale, Galashiels (kick-off 7.30pm) admission free for concessions

Friday 14 March Wales v Scotland (kick-off 7.00pm, S4C) Eirias, Colwyn Bay (£15 seated, £10 terrace / £5 concession)

IRB Junior World Championship 2014, New Zealand

Monday 2 June, South Africa v Scotland, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, kick-off 3.35pm (local)

Friday 6 June, Scotland v Samoa, Pukekohe Stadium, kick-off 3.35pm (local)

Wednesday 10 June, New Zealand v Scotland, Pukekohe Stadium, kick-off 7.35pm (local)

Further fixtures on Sunday 15 June and Friday 20 June are dependent on results