Darge aims to lead by example
Scotland U20s captain Rory Darge says that there were plenty of positives to take in defeat to Ireland last weekend, as his side prepare for the visit of England to Myreside on Friday.
Scotland U20s captain Rory Darge says that there were plenty of positives to take in defeat to Ireland last weekend.
Ahead of the age-grade Scots’ second match of the 2020 Six Nations, the Southern Knights No 8 said: “There were definite positives, our physical set piece and the scrum were real weapons for us which doesn’t happen very often in age-grade games.
“There were also a lot of little mistakes, we missed the tackle on Ireland’s 22 and they scored off that phase for instance. I think it’s just for some guys learning that small mistakes at this level - there’s consequences to them so it’s about guys getting to terms with that.”
Two years ago, Darge was part of the Scotland U20 team that defeated their English counterparts at Myreside, an occasion he has fond memories of, adding: That [playing against England last time] was a really good night - my 18th birthday - it was a really good environment as well because it’s quite a small stadium.
“It was pretty packed and there was good noise from the crowd and obviously that came with a really good performance. It’s a completely different group in that the only other guy was Connor [Boyle] that year so I probably won’t speak about it too much to the current team.”
Darge has battled back from a dislocated knee cap early last year, a journey that makes him appreciate leading this U20 side even more. He said: “[It happened] playing for Melrose and it took a really long time to recover because the swelling wouldn’t go down and then I had some issues with my ankles.
“The knee kept me out from January and I missed the Junior World Cup, which was frustrating. It was about nine months in total and then I rolled my ankle which kept me out for another month just for good measure.
“Being asked to captain the squad was a big surprise, a massive privilege and even more so after having missed last year. Watching the boys playing last year was quite tough. Sean [Lineen, Head Coach] said he wanted me to be captain and I was delighted. Leading us out at home will mean everything.”
The back-row, who doesn’t turn 20 until the last week of this month, has enjoyed training with Edinburgh throughout the current campaign and that, coupled with being exposed to coaching structures from the likes of Shade Munro at U20 level, is something Rory thinks he’s benefitting from: “I’ve never worked with Shade before, but I really enjoyed working with him.
“He’ll discuss things with players rather than telling you how it is and he’s up for a discussion about things. If you think something’s wrong, you’re entitled to go up to him and say and he’ll tell you why it’s right and listen to your feedback, he’s a really good coach.”
Scotland U20 match against England at Myreside is a popular fixture with the Calcutta Cup match the next day at BT Murrayfield, so secure your tickets now and don't miss out on the action. Buy Tickets.
If you can’t make it along to Myreside, you can watch the match live on Scottish Rugby TV on scottishrugby.org.
There are frequent bus links to Myreside Stadium from around Edinburgh, it’s only a 25 minute bus journey from the city centre, find the routes and times on Lothian Buses website There will be no public parking, therefore public transport is encouraged. We would encourage spectators to be mindful of the surrounding residents and local parking restrictions.