After a challenging 6 Nations, Scotland's under-20 squad regroup as preparations intensify towards this year's IRB Junior World Cup in New Zealand.
The first of three pre-tournament camps takes place at Murrayfield next week (23-25 April) with a squad of 32 players, the backbone of whom tasted international action earlier this year against Ireland, France, Italy, England and Wales.
Head coach Sean Lineen said: "Everyone is looking forward to the first JWC camp where the priority will be on rugby conditioning and also to have a look at our defence and phase attack options.
"A large group of players have been working incredibly hard over the last five weeks to build on the good bits from the 6 Nations. There is no doubt it has been a massive step for some but the effort and willingness to learn and improve has never faltered."
Included in the group are Edinburgh Elite Development Players (EDPs) Phil Cringle, Neil Irvine-Hess, Jamie Farndale and Magnus Bradbury, along with Melrose winger Damien Hoyland who will join the club on a full-time basis next season. Glasgow EDPs Gavin Lowe and D'arcy Rae are included, along with Currie trio George Horne, Grant McConnell and Ruaraidh Smith, the latter of whom handed off four defenders to touch down against Glasgow Warriors at last Saturday's Melrose 7s.
This is the first of three training camps prior to a squad setting off for the southern hemisphere, where they'll take on South Africa (Monday 2 June), Samoa (Friday 6 June) and New Zealand (Wednesday 10 June) in the pool rounds. In last year's tournament Scotland finished in tenth place, beating Samoa in the early stages. England were eventual winners, defeating Wales in the final in north-west France.
New Zealand is hosting the tournament for the first time, with matches at QBE Stadium in North Harbour and ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe and the final to be held at Eden Park, Auckland. Lineen added:
We all know the challenge that awaits us in New Zealand, but what a fantastic opportunity for the 28-man squad that will head down under to face New Zealand, South Africa and Samoa."
Scotland under-20 squad for April camp
Chris Barnes (Glasgow Hawks) *
Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *
Gabriel Carroll (Loughborough University)
Ben Chalmers (Melrose)
Scott Cummings (Kelvinside Academy/Glasgow Hawks) *
Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors)
Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)
Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Cameron Fenton (Strathallan/Howe of Fife) *
George Horne (Currie) *
Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *
Blair Hutchison (Melrose/ Loughborough Uniiversity)
Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Sam James (London Wasps)
Ben Johnston (Marr) *
Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) **
Murdo McAndrew (Clermont Auvergne)
James Malcolm (Ayr) *
Grant McConnell (Currie) *
Isaac Miller (Loughborough University)
Sam Pecqueur (Edinburgh Accies)
Gavin Parker (Exeter University)
D’arcy Rae (Ayr) **
Angus Rennie (Aberdeen Grammar) *
Tommy Spinks (London Scottish)
Ruaraidh Smith (Currie)
Ben Vellacott (Hartpury/Gloucester)
Sean Yacoubian (Glasgow Hawks)
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