Pollock relishes 'exciting opportunity'

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)

Hugh Fraser* (Merchiston Castle School)

 

Murray McCallum (Strathallan / Dunfermline)

Jake Kerr* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians)

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)

Stephen Ainslie* (Loretto School / Berwick)

Andrew Davidson (Kelvinside Academy / Glasgow Hawks)

Scott Burnside* (Heriot’s FP)

Matthew Smith (Stirling County)

Jamie Ritchie* (Strathallan / Howe of Fife) CAPTAIN

 

Substitutes

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