Scotland under-18 side named for Rugby Europe opener

Scotland under-18 will play hosts France, in their first round tie of the annual Rugby Europe tournament  tonight (Friday 27 March, kick-off 7pm local, 6pm GMT).   

Head Coach, Eddie Pollock, said: “We’ve played some good rugby in our preparation games, which has given us a solid foundation to build on.

“The boys played a good brand of rugby in the win against Ireland Schools last week, and the victory will help the players confidence in knowing they can compete at this high level.

“Playing France in Toulouse will be a big challenge, but it’ll be a fantastic experience for our squad, and one that we’re looking forward to.”

Only two changes have been made to the starting XV who defeated Ireland Schools, 21-13, last week at Mayfield in Dundee.

Andrew Simmers is promoted from the bench to take the scrum-half spot, with Charlie Shiel moving on to the bench.

In the back-row, Bruce Flockhart moves into number eight in place of Alex Craig who is added to the replacements list.

Bruce Flockhart returns to the Scotland under-18 squad

Pollock continued: “Bruce [Flockhart] wasn’t able to play against Ireland Schools due to injury, but his performance against England was enough to secure him a place in the squad to play France.

“Andrew [Simmers] had an impressive second-half when he came on at Mayfield last week, which has seen him earn a starting place in this tie.”

The rest of the squad remains unchanged, with try-scorers against England, Darcy Graham and Saul Melvin-Farr, continuing in the back-three with Robbie Nairn, who crossed the whitewash versus Ireland Schools last week.

Blair Kinghorn partners Simmers at half-back, with Grant Huggan and Craig Pringle starting at inside and outside centre respectively.

Adam Nicol, Fraser Renwick and Fergus Bradbury will pack down in the front-row for their third consecutive start together, while captain Callum Hunter-Hill is partners Hamish Bain in the boiler room.

Matt Fagerson, who crossed the line in last week’s defeat of Ireland Schools, continues at blindside flanker, joining Flockhart and Michael Dewar in the back-row.  

Scotland under-18 squad to play France under-18, Rugby Europe tournament, Stade de Rugby, Graulhet (kick-off 7pm local, 6pm GMT)

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   Andrew Simmers (Glasgow Academy/Glasgow Hawks)*

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 Bruce Flockhart (Strathallan School/Highland)

Replacements

16 Jack Solman (Sedbergh School)
17 George Thornton (Moulton College/Market Harborough)
18 Blair Robertson (Kelso Harlequins)
19 Luke Crosbie (Currie)
20 Alexander Craig (Hartpury College/Gloucester)
21 Charlie Sheil (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)
22 Gregor Haldane (Stowe School/Northampton Saints)
23 Ross McCann (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)*
24 Connor Eastgate (Henley College/Wasps)
25 Alastair Greig (Stewart’s Melville College/Stewart’s Melville)
26 Thomas Gordon (Currie)

*sportscotland institute of sport supported player 2014/15