Scougall: Eyes on the Thistle

Scougall: Eyes on the Thistle

Following Scotland’s first two rounds in the Under-20 Six Nations against England and Wales at the start of the month, we caught up with tighthead prop, Gregor Scougall, to discuss his debut and the first two games of the tournament.

After failing to be selected for the Scotland U20 squad in 2021, Scougall went back to his FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy coach, Chris Laidlaw, and planned for the next season ahead.

With the help of Laidlaw, he set three goals for himself to achieve, with the priority being a starting position in the Scotland team for the Under-20 Six Nations campaign.

And that he did. After making his Scotland debut on home soil at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh, against England, Gregor was able to tick off his biggest goal to date.

Scougall said: ‘’I was extremely gutted I hadn’t made the team last year, so I was quite strict and put myself into a bubble, isolating away from friends and training a lot more in the gym.

‘’I wanted to be away from any distractions just so I could fully focus on rugby, and to work a hundred times harder on my play and techniques.

‘’Obviously it’s hard to do that to yourself at this age, and there were some dark days in that period, but I’ve made it here now and it’s all been worth it.

Game Readings

The Scotland Under-20 squad are hoping for a better outcome in the third round of their campaign, as they host France, this Friday night (25 February) at DAM Health Stadium, in Edinburgh.

Gregor said: ‘’As a squad, we have been watching and debriefing on France’s performances against Ireland and Italy in the last few weeks, so we know they have some cracking players but we’re all buzzing for the challenge.’’

With the score lines not falling in Gregor and his team’s favour in their latest matches, he was still able to take away some positive learnings.

Gregor said: ‘’Both of the games have been incredible opportunities for me, whilst being losses they have been bigger learning curves for the team.

‘’Our performances in both of the games have shown similar themes, and a repetition of skill learnings means we see our faults to be easy fixes.

‘’We have shown a good amount of momentum, as we managed to stay on top of both teams well, but we need that momentum to last the whole 80-minutes for these up-coming games.

Having represented Scotland at U16, U17 and U18 level, the Currie Chieftains tighthead prop believes the squad are in a much better place than they were last year in hope they will make a winning comeback.

‘’We’ve got to a point where we have already proved we’re in a much better place in terms of managing to go toe-to-toe against England, who are a massive pack, for over 80 minutes and succeeded tries.

‘’All the boys have the mindset of ‘playing for the thistle’, so we have upped our training and our one-on-one meetings to strengthen our chances of a win for Scotland.’’ Gregor said.

Home Support

Scougall is extremely excited to get back to that electric atmosphere, that was felt on the night of their opening match of the tournament, at the start of February, when they played against England on home soil.

‘’That night was a dream come true for me, being my debut for Scotland and feeling the power we got from the fans in the stands was a whole new experience for me, and one I’ll never forget.’’

‘’The singing and chanting from the crowd helped us massively to drive forward, and to work that little bit harder and to make them tackles that little bit stronger, hopefully that’ll be the case again for France.’’

Be there to support Scotland U20 as they face France this Friday at DAM Health Stadium, with tickets starting from just £1.

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