Six changes for Portugal clash

Head coach Eddie Pollock has made six changes to the Scotland under-18 team to face Portugal in the FIRA-AER European Championships in Opalenica, Poland tomorrow (15 April, kick-off 11am UK time).


Scotland U18 team v Portugal U18

FIRA-AER European Championships Round 2

Opalenica, Poland (15 April, KO 11am UK time)


15 Saul Melvin-Farr (Edinburgh Academy)


14 Ben Robbins (George Watson’s College)

13 Adam Hastings (Millfield School)

12 George Taylor (Loretto School / Melrose)

11 Robbie Nairn* (George Watson’s College / Currie)


10 Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints / Shelford)

9 Hugh Fraser* (Merchiston Castle School)


1 Gary Robertson (Gala Academy / Gala)

2 Lewis Anderson (Marr College / Ayr)

3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)

4 Jamie Ritchie* (Strathallan / Howe of Fife)

5 Callum Hunter-Hill (Stewart’s Melville College)

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 RFC), 17 Murray McCallum (Strathallan / Dunfermline RFC), 18 Callum Sheldon (Queen Elizabeth School / Newcastle Falcons), 19 Lewis Wynne (St. Mungo's High School / Stirling County RFC), 20 Fraser Christie (Stewart’s Melville College), 21 Andrew Manson (Stewart’s Melville College), 22 Max MacFarlane (Hutchesons’ Grammar School), 23 Ruairi Howarth (Gala Academy / Gala RFC).

* Scottish Institute of Sport supported player 2013/14



The clash follows the teams’ respective round one losses to their Welsh and English counterparts, with the nations drawn together for the round two head-to-head.

The changes are split evenly between backs and forwards, with Saul Melvin-Farr, Ben Robbins [pictured] and Hugh Fraser starting at full-back, wing and scrum-half in place of Ruairi Howarth, Reuben Norville and Andrew Manson.

Two of the three pack changes appear in the front-row, with Gary Robertson and Lewis Anderson starting at prop and hooker respectively, while Callum Hunter-Hill is handed his first start at lock in place of Andrew Davidson.

Pollock said: “We have three games in ten days in this Championship and, for many players, this is a fourth international in as many weeks

"With another game to come this Saturday, it’s important that we field a strong team while managing the load on the players.

“The guys coming in have featured and performed well when they’ve come off the bench.

“We’ve got strength and depth in this squad and they deserve this opportunity. It’s been a difficult selection, which in itself is a good thing.”

Speaking on tomorrow’s opponents, Pollock added: “Portugal are a very passionate and committed side, with no lack of effort, skill and ability.

“They’ve surprised a lot of people with the amount of width and ambition they’re playing with, more than you’d perhaps expect from a team seeded eighth versus a team seeded first [England].

“If we disrespect these guys they will hurt us.”


Scotland under-18 squad for the FIRA European Championships:

Backs: Ruairi Howarth (Gala Academy / Gala), Adam Hastings (Millfield School), Rory Hutchinson (MPW Cambridge / Shelford), Hugh Fraser* (Merchiston Castle School), Josh Laird (Strathallan School / Kirkcaldy), Andrew Manson (Stewart’s Melville College), Saul Melvin-Farr (Edinburgh Academy), Robbie Nairn (George Watson’s College), Reuben Norville (St. Pauls, London / London Irish), Ben Robbins * (George Watson’s College), George Taylor (Loretto School / Melrose).

Forwards: Lewis Anderson (Marr College / Ayr), Scott Burnside* (Heriot’s FP), Fraser Christie (Stewart’s Melville College), Andrew Davidson (Kelvinside Academy / Glasgow Hawks), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), Calum Hunter-Hill (Stewart's Melville College), Jake Kerr* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians), Max MacFarlane (Hutchesons' Grammar School),Murray McCallum (Strathallan / Dunfermline), Ally Miller* (George Watson’s College / Watsonians). Jamie Ritchie* (Strathallan / Howe of Fife) CAPTAIN, 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).

Scotland Under-18 programme

Scotland U18 (6-28) England U18, Dalziel Park

Ireland U18 (26-6) Scotland U18, Ashbrook, Dublin

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

Scotland U18 (21-23) Wales U18

Tuesday 15 April - Scotland under-18 v Portugal under-18, Opalenica, Poland (kick-off 11am UK time)

Saturday 19 April - Scotland's round three opponents will be determined by results in the previous round.