Settled under-20s squad selected as they look to build on home momentum

Head Coach Sean Lineen has made one change to the winning Scotland under-20 starting XV  for this Friday's Six Nations Championship match against Italy at Netherdale (kick off 7.30pm).

Glasgow Hawks lock, Andrew Davidson's replacement of his club mate Scott Cummings is the only change to the side that battled back to defeat their Welsh counterparts 36-34 at the same venue a fortnight ago.

A further two changes have been made to the replacements as hooker Sam James, steps in to replace Jake Kerr, who sustained a knee injury during training.

Scrum-half Ben Vellacott, who represented Scotland under-20 in the same competition last season, takes a spot on the bench in place of Andrew Manson.

Italy come to Netherdale in the hunt for their first win of this year's Championship, following defeat in their opening two games against Ireland and England respectively.

Scotland under-20 Head Coach, Sean Lineen, said: "We felt that keeping the squad fairly settled was a just reward for the performance in  our previous Championship outing.

"Ben [Vellacott] and Sam [James] are quality players who already have a fair amount of experience at this level. We're looking forward to seeing what impact they can make when they get a chance.”

Scotland under-20s last encounter saw a dramatic fight back, as they battled against a 24-12 deficit to come away with a two point victory in an exciting finish at Netherdale.

Lineen continued: "It was absolutely fantastic to get a good win against Wales, who had just come off the back of a win against the current Junior World Champions England.

"The boys displayed maturity, control and good game management to pull back from behind.

"However, as in any tournament, it's all about building towards our next match. Our physical and mental preparation this week is key.”

The last time Scotland met Italy at this level was in the 2014 Junior World Championships, in New Zealand, when the Dark Blues claimed a 21-18 victory.

Lineen added: "Italy will be highly motivated and will have set their sights on this game.

"They are always very passionate, and we are fully aware that we must perform to the best of our abilities and keep our focus if we are to post a win.


"The big test now is backing up our great victory against Wales. We must continue to improve and build on our hard work.”

 
Scotland under-20 v Italy under-20,  Netherdale, Under-20 Six Nations Championship,  (kick-off 7.30pm)

15. Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala)
14. Ruaraidh Smith (Currie)
13. Archie Russell (Stirling County)
12. Patrick Kelly (Le Parc)
11. Alec Coombes (London Scottish)

10. Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
9. George Horne (Glasgow Hawks)

1. Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)*
2. Ross Graham (Hawick)
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
4. Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
5. Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)*
6. Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)
7. Jamie Ritchie CAPTAIN (Edinburgh Rugby)
8. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir)

Replacements

16. Sam James (Wasps)
17. Dan Elkington (Watsonians)
18. Jack Owlett (Exeter Chiefs/ Exeter University)
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
20. Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)
21. Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College)
22. Tom Galbraith (Melrose)
23. Ben Robbins (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

*sportscotland institute of sport supported player 2014/15