Pollock rings changes for Ireland Schools game

Scotland under-18 take on Ireland Schools tomorrow at Mayfield (kick-off 11am), in their final preparation match before the Rugby Europe Championships next week.

Darcy Graham in action

Scotland under-18 Head Coach, Eddie Pollock, has made four changes to the starting side, who were defeated 39-27 by England a fortnight ago in Newcastle.

Pollock has introduced a new centre partnership as Grant Huggan and Craig Pringle are promoted from the bench for Connor Eastgate and Alastair Greig, respectively.

There are two changes in the pack – one being a positional rotation – as Matthew Fagerson packs down at blindside flanker, and Alexander Craig swaps the six jersey for number eight.

Some six changes have been made to the bench with; Luke Crosbie, Scott McGinley, Andrew Simmers, Gregor Haldane, Ross McCann and Thomas Gordon named as replacements.  

Pollock said: “We want to have a look at the whole squad before we head off to Rugby Europe, so this is a great opportunity for us to do so.

“This match will allow for boys who didn’t get much game-time against England, an opportunity to show what they have in a game environment, and allows us to try some different combinations.

“We took a lot of positives from the game against England, but also a lot to work on.

“We’ve addressed these weaknesses in our camps, and hope that we can put them right tomorrow against Ireland Schools.

“They are always a tough opposition and we expect them to be well-organised, physical and accurate at the breakdown.”

In addition to the 24 players named to take on Ireland Schools, a further three players – Bruce Flockhart, Connor Eastgate and Alastair Greig – will travel to Toulouse to take part in the Rugby Europe tournament.

Scotland under-18 will meet the hosts, France, in their first Rugby Europe tie on Friday (27 March, kick-off 7pm local), before playing a further two games as part of the seeded tournament.  

Pollock continued: “The Rugby Europe tournament exposes players to a professional environment.

“The squad will be focussed solely on rugby in their time in camp, so it allows them to experience what it takes if they want to progress in the game.”  

Scotland under-18 v Ireland Schools, Saturday 21 March, Mayfield, Dundee (kick-off 11am)

15 Saul Melvin-Farr (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)*

14 Darcy Graham (Hawick High School/Hawick Wanderers)
13 Craig Pringle (Loretto School/Melrose)*
12 Grant Huggan (Hawick Wanderers)
11 Robbie Nairn (George Watson’s College/Currie)

10 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)*
9 Charlie Shiel (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)*

1 Adam Nicol (Queen Anne High School/Dunfermline)
2 Fraser Renwick (Hawick High School/Hawick Wanderers)
3 Fergus Bradbury (Merchiston Castle School)
4 Hamish Bain (George Watson’s College/Currie)
5 Callum Hunter-Hill (Stewart’s Melville)*
6 Matthew Fagerson (Strathallan School)
7 Michael Dewar (Abingdon School/Wasps)
8 Alex Craig (Hartpury College/Gloucester)

Replacements

16 Jack Solman (Sedbergh School)
17 George Thornton (Moulton College/Market Harborough)
18 Blair Robertson (Kelso Harlequins)
19 Luke Crosbie (Currie)
20 Scott McGinley (Edinburgh Academy/Currie)
21 Andrew Simmers (Glasgow Academy/Glasgow Hawks)*
22 Gregor Haldane (Stowe School/Northampton Saints)
23 Ross McCann (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)*
24 Thomas Gordon (Currie)

*sportscotland institute of sport supported player 2014/15