Five changes for Irish assessment

Head coach Eddie Pollock has made five personnel changes to the Scotland Under-18 side named to play Ireland Schools in Dublin this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

Scotland U18 v Ireland Schools

Ashbrook, Dublin (kick-off 2pm)


15 Ruairi Howarth (Gala Academy / Gala)


14 Reuben Norville (St. Pauls, London / London Irish)

13 Josh Laird (Strathallan School / Kirkcaldy)

12 George Taylor (Loretto School / Melrose)

11 Ben Robbins (George Watson’s College)


10 Rory Hutchinson (MPW Cambridge / Shelford)

9 Andrew Manson (Stewart’s Melville College)


1 Murray McCallum (Strathallan / Dunfermline)

2 Lewis Anderson (Marr College / Ayr)

3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)

4 Andrew Davidson (Kelvinside Academy / Glasgow Hawks)

5 Jamie Ritchie* (Strathallan / Howe of Fife) CAPTAIN

6 Scott Burnside* (Heriot’s)

7 Matthew Smith (Stirling County)

8 Ally Miller* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians)


Substitutes: 16 Jake Kerr* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians), 17 Gary Robertson (Gala Academy / Gala), 18 Callum Sheldon (Queen Elizabeth School / Newcastle Falcons), 19 Lewis Wynne (St. Mungo's High School / Stirling County), 20 Calum Hunter-Hill (Stewarts Melville College), 21 Hugh Fraser* (Merchiston Castle School), 22 Max MacFarlane (Hutchesons’ Grammar School), 23 Robbie Nairn* (George Watson’s College / Currie).

The inbound quintet all featured as replacements in the side’s 28-6 loss to England Under-18 at Dalziel Park a fortnight ago and will start at Ashbrooke, home of Coolmine RFC.

Reuben Norville (wing), Josh Laird (centre) and Andrew Manson (scrum-half) replace Robbie Nairn, Adam Hastings and Hugh Fraser in a new look back division.

In the pack, Lewis Anderson replaces Jake Kerr at hooker while Jamie Ritchie moves from number 8 to second-row to replace the injured Stephen Ainslie (knee).

Ritchie’s place in the back-row is taken by Ally Miller, who has also been promoted from the bench.

Pollock said: “The changes are made to make sure as many players as possible can get a start before the FIRA European Championships.

“We need make sure the players have all had enough international game time, while keeping the strength of the squad in tact.

“All the players coming in are able to compete for a starting spot, which is why they’re getting a chance this Sunday.”

The match again Ireland Schools is the squad’s final preparation fixture for the FIRA European Championships next month, with Pollock citing continued improvement as the ultimate aim.

He added: “One of the issues against England was that they capitalised on the errors we made, so we need to address that, while at the same time I’d like to see our attacking play kick on again as I think we have a lot of potential in that area.”



FORWARDS: Stephen Ainslie* (Loretto School / Berwick), Lewis Anderson (Marr College / Ayr), Scott Burnside* (Heriot’s), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), Calum Hunter-Hill (Stewart’s Melville College), Jake Kerr* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians), Murray McCallum (Strathallan / Dunfermline), Ally Miller* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians), Jamie Ritchie* (Strathallan / Howe of Fife), Gary Robertson (Gala Academy / Gala), Callum Sheldon (Queen Elizabeth School / Newcastle Falcons), Matthew Smith (Stirling County), Lewis Wynne (St. Mungo's High School / Stirling County).

BACKS: Hugh Fraser* (Merchiston Castle School), Andrew Manson (Stewart’s Melville College), Rory Hutchinson (MPW Cambridge / Shelford), Max MacFarlane (Hutchesons’ Grammar School), Josh Laird (Strathallan School / Kirkcaldy), George Taylor (Loretto School / Melrose), Reuben Norville (St. Pauls School / London Irish), Robbie Nairn* (George Watson’s College / Currie), Ben Robbins (George Watson’s College), Ruairi Howarth (Gala Academy / Gala).

* Scottish Institute of Sport supported player 2013/14


Scotland Under-18 programme:

Scotland U18 6-28 England U18, Dalziel Park

Sunday 30 March – Ireland U18 v Scotland U18, Ashbrook, Dublin (kick-off 2pm)

Thursday 10 to Sunday 20 April – FIRA/AER U18 Championship, Poland