Last chance to stake selection claim for under-20s

Scotland under-20 Head Coach Sean Lineen has named two changes to his 30-man squad, as the age-grade team move into their final camp before their 6 Nations campaign kicks-off.

Ben Chalmers strikes at goal in Scotland under-20s fixture v Club XV, last year

George Hedgeley of Darlington Mowden Park – whose home, the Northern Echo Arena, will play host to Scotland under-20 in their penultimate Championship tie, away to England (Friday 13 March) – and Luke Earl-Wright of Aberdeen Grammar Rugby, will join the squad as they convene for camp this Monday (26 January).

The squad selected includes nine BT Sport Academy Level 3 players, with a further 14 members of the 30-man pool playing their rugby on the Scottish club scene – this excluding Jamie Ritchie who is fully-contracted to Edinburgh Rugby.

Lineen said: “At this point we’re extremely happy and excited with the squad we’ve got, and with the commitment and physicality the players are showing. We’ve highlighted a couple of key positions and have looked to develop depth with our squad selection.

“We’ve been working really hard on all areas of our game throughout our camps, and it’s important that we maintain this going into our last couple of training days and then into the Championship.

“One thing we really want to see is boys who are desperate and hungry to show they want to wear the shirt, and are proud to have the chance to represent Scotland.”

Following on from a training game against Glasgow A in their previous camp, the under-20s will come up against the Scotland Club XV squad in a match next Tuesday (27 January) on the back-pitches at BT Murrayfield (kick-off 7.30pm). This game is open to the public and entry is FREE.

Lineen continued: “The game against Glasgow A was extremely positive from our point of view, and we’ll look to build on that in this training camp.

“We really fronted up and refused to take a step back against a quality and experienced opposition, which was great to watch.

“The game against the Club XV gives us a further opportunity to try out a couple of things and look at a number of different combinations.

“The Club XV are evidently a good squad, made up of the best players on the domestic club scene, and will present a real challenge for us. However, this is one we will soak up and go out there and have a real shot.”

With Scotland under-20 playing away to France in their first game of the Championship in just over two weeks’ times (Saturday 7 February), much of the emphasis of this camp will be on the style of play the squad are looking to adopt.  

“France are always strong but we’ve pushed them close the past couple of years – there’s only been a couple of points in it the last few times we’ve come up against them,” added Lineen.

“We’ve got to go there with great belief and have a crack first up.”

Scotland under-20 squad for training camp on Monday 26 – Wednesday 28  January

Forwards

Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir)

Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)*

Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

Dan Elkington (Watsonians)

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

Cameron Fenton (Glasgow Warriors/Stirling County)

Ross Graham (Hawick)

George Hedgeley (Darlington Mowden Park)

Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)

Jake Kerr (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby/Aberdeen University)*

Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby)

Gary Robertson (Gala)

Matthew Smith (Glasgow Warriors/Stirling County)

Lewis Wynne (Stirling County)

 Backs

Ben Chalmers (Bordeaux-Begles)

Alec Coombes (London Scottish)

Luke Earl-Wright (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)

Harvey Elms (Currie)

Tom Galbraith (Melrose)

George Horne (Glasgow Hawks)

Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala)

Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)

Patrick Kelly (Le Parc)

Andrew Manson (Stewart's Melville FP)

Reuben Norville (Unattached)

Archie Russell (Stirling County)

Ruaraidh Smith (Currie)

* Member of Scottish Rugby's Regional Academy supported by sportscotland

Scotland under-20 6 Nations Championship fixtures

Scotland under-20 v France under-20, Jean Laville Stadium, Gueugnon, Saturday 7 February (kick-off 8.55pm local, 7.55pm GMT).

Scotland under-20 v Wales under-20, Netherdale, Friday 13 February (kick-off 6pm) – Adult tickets £10, seniors (aged 60+) £5, concessions FREE. Live on BBC ALBA.

Scotland under-20 v Italy under-20, Netherdale, Friday 27 February (kick-off 7.30pm) – Adult tickets £10, seniors (aged 60+) £5, concessions FREE.

Scotland under-20 v England under-20, The Northern Echo Arena, Darlington, Friday 13 March (kick-off 5.30pm). Live on Sky Sports.

Scotland under-20 v Ireland under-20, Netherdale, Friday 20 March (kick-off 7.30pm) – Adult tickets £10, seniors (aged 60+) £5, concessions FREE.