Scotland U20 head to Washington
Scotland U20’s World Rugby U20 Championship preparations head State-side this week as the squad travel to Washington for a seven-day training camp in America’s capital.
The week-long period of intense training will also see the age-grade outfit face Old Glory DC at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium on Memorial Day (Monday 27 May, kick-off 7pm local time, midnight BST) in a warm-up match live streamed through Old Glory DC.
Ahead of the squad’s departure, Scotland U20 captain, Connor Boyle, spoke to Scottish Rugby TV about his aspirations for the week of preparations, as well as what he expects from their American opponents. You can watch the full interview below.
“I think we’ll get a bit of time to immerse ourselves in the culture and enjoy Washington,” explained Boyle, who scored two tries in five U20 Six Nations appearances earlier this year.
“That being said there will definitely be some tough training, as well as a bit of dialling down before what is going to be an intense tournament in Argentina.”
Scotland U20’s match against Old Glory DC on Memorial Day follows the news that Scottish Rugby has taken a minority stake in the MLR expansion side, with the opportunity to focus World Rugby U20 Championship preparations State-side the first example of the relationship in action.
The match will give U20 Head Coach Carl Hogg the chance to give all players in the squad valuable game time and test out different combinations in key areas. While playing in Washington in early summer will also provide a test of competing in similar conditions to those found in Argentina.
Next Monday’s fixture is the second of a five-game exhibition series this spring - with Old Glory DC suffering an opening 22-26 loss to Shannon RFC this week – and Scotland U20 captain, Boyle, believes the encounter is the perfect warm-up for next month’s World Rugby U20 Championship.
“The hit-out against Old Glory DC will be a real test for us across the board,” continued the back-row.
“I think they play quite similarly to South Africa, who are our first opponents in the group stages of the World Cup.
“They’ve got a big forward pack and some skilful backs out wide. If we can just stick to our defensive shape and play with a real drive and intensity on turnover ball, then I think we’ll be alright.
“It gives us a real opportunity to show everyone what we’re about but it also gives us an opportunity to get a feel for how we play.
“The match gets us into the mindset of how to prepare for a World Cup match and also how to recover straight after it because it can be a really tight turnaround in those group stages.”
Scotland U20 begin their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign against South Africa U20 at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium on Tuesday 4 June (kick-off 2.30pm BST) before facing New Zealand U20 at the same venue four days later (Saturday 8 June, kick-off 7.30pm BST).
The age-grade side then play Georgia U20 in their final pool stage fixture at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium (Wednesday 12 June, kick-off 2.30pm BST) with all three group matches streamed live on world.rugby/u20