Scotland U20 side named for World Championship opener

Head Coach John Dalziel has named the Scotland U20 side to take on their New Zealand counterparts in the opening game of the World Rugby U20 Championship tomorrow (Wednesday 31 May, kick-off 1pm local/10am BST) at the AIA Arena in Kutaisi, Georgia – live-stream available on worldrugby.org.

Tom Gordon will make his Scotland U20 debut against New Zealand U20

Lock Callum Hunter-Hill will continue as captain after leading the side throughout the recent Six Nations campaign.

Thomas Gordon is set to make his debut for the senior age-grade side as he is named on the openside flank, while prop Ross Dunbar will also make his first appearance for Scotland U20 if called upon from the bench.

Head Coach, Dalziel, said: “We’ve named an exciting side for the tournament opener and we’re hoping they’ll go out and express themselves from the offset.

“We’ll look to play an attacking and fluid style of rugby, but there’s also going to be a need for great physicality in the contact if we are to win and retain possession for long periods of the match.

“There’s no playing down the enormity of the challenge we face in going up against New Zealand first-up. A good core of their squad will have played to a very high standard domestically and they’re likely to bring that experience into tomorrow’s game.

“They’ll play with real tempo, great physicality and an astuteness across all aspects of the game. We need to front-up physically and mentally to compete.

“The boys face a big task, but there’s a good vibe around camp and we’re all looking forward to getting things underway with a strong performance.”

Edinburgh’s Blair Kinghorn is named at full-back, with Darcy Graham and Ross McCann starting on the wings.

Ayr’s Stafford McDowall forms the centre partnership alongside Lewis Berg, while Charlie Shiel and Connor Eastgate are named as the half-back duo.

George Thornton and Fergus Bradbury will start in the front-row, either side of hooker Fraser Renwick.

Hunter-Hill packs down in the boiler-room with Alex Craig.

Gordon and Luke Crosbie occupy the flanks, with Matt Fagerson set to don the  number eight shirt.

Scotland U20 team to New Zealand U20 at AIA Arena, Kutaisi, in the World Rugby U20 Championship, tomorrow (Wednesday 31 May, kick-off 1pm local/10am BST) – livestream available on worldrugby.org

15. Blair Kinghorn

14. Darcy Graham
13. Lewis Berg
12. Stafford McDowall**
11. Ross McCann**

10. Connor Eastgate
9. Charlie Shiel**

1. George Thornton
2. Fraser Renwick**
3. Fergus Bradbury*
4. Alex Craig
5. Callum Hunter-Hill CAPTAIN
6. Luke Crosbie**
7. Thomas Gordon**
8. Matt Fagerson**

Replacements

16. Robbie Smith**
17. Ross Dunbar**
18. Adam Nicol**
19. Bruce Flockhart**
20. Tom Dodd
21. Ruaridh Dawson
22. Josh Henderson**
23. Robbie Nairn**

*BT Academy Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 2 player
**BT Academy Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player