Scotland under-18 head coach Eddie Pollock sees this Sunday’s clash with England as an exciting opportunity for the youngsters to showcase their ability.
After numerous training camps, district clashes and inter-squad trial matches, the international at Dalziel Park in Motherwell will signal the beginning of the age-grade’s competitive campaign.
A test against their Irish counterparts in Dublin will follow a week later before a squad of 26 is named for next month’s FIRA Championships in Poland.
Pollock said: “We’ve done a lot of work with these guys and they are improving all the time.
“Their work ethic is very good, they’re a talented group and this is another step in their development.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge for us as England are one of the top sides in the world at this age-grade.
“Come half past one on Sunday we’ll have a very clear picture of where we are and what we need to improve on.
It’s very exciting that we’re approaching a opportunity to go out and really test ourselves."
- - Head coach Eddie Pollock
Considering his selection, Pollock added: “In the forwards we have size, height and athleticism. The pack itself is very mobile but has a lot of power.
“Some of the forwards were also part of the programme last year and played very well, so we also have a bit of experience to take into this match.
Together with a back line that has a lot of pace means we have a team capable of playing good rugby at tempo and that’s what we’re striving to do.”
Scotland Under-18 team to play England Under-18 at Dalziel Park, Motherwell, this Sunday (9 March, kick-off 12 noon)
15 Ruari Howarth (Gala Academy / Gala)
14 Ben Robbins (George Watson’s College)
13 Adam Hastings (Millfield School)
12 George Taylor (Loretto School / Melrose)
11 Robbie Nairn* (George Watson’s College / Currie)
10 Rory Hutchinson (MPW Cambridge / Shelford)
9 Hugh Fraser* (Merchiston Castle School)
1 Murray McCallum (Strathallan / Dunfermline)
2 Jake Kerr* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians)
3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)
4 Stephen Ainslie* (Loretto School / Berwick)
5 Andrew Davidson (Kelvinside Academy / Glasgow Hawks)
6 Scott Burnside* (Heriot’s FP)
7 Matthew Smith (Stirling County)
8 Jamie Ritchie* (Strathallan / Howe of Fife) CAPTAIN
16 Lewis Anderson (Marr College / Ayr)
17 Gary Robertson (Gala Academy / Gala)
18 Callum Sheldon (Queen Elizabeth School / Newcastle Falcons)
19 Lewis Wynne (St. Mungo's High School / Stirling County)
20 Ally Miller* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians)
21 Andrew Manson (Stewart’s Melville College)
22 Josh Laird (Strathallan School / Kirkcaldy)
23 Reuben Norville (St Paul’s School / London Irish)
* Sportscotland Institute of Sport supported player 2013/14
Scotland under-18 programme
Sunday 9 March – Scotland U18 v England U18, Dalziel Park (kick-off 12 noon)
Sunday 30 March – Ireland U18 v Scotland U18, Coolmine RFC, Dublin (kick-off 2pm)
Thursday 10 to Sunday 20 April – FIRA/AER U18 Championship, Poland