Twelve changes for Georgia U20 Test
Scotland U20 have made 12 changes to the starting side to face Georgia U20 in tomorrow’s World Rugby U20 Championship third round Test at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium (Wednesday 12 June; kick-off 2.30pm BST, 10.30am local time) – streamed live at world.rugby/u20
Second-row Ewan Johnson (Racing 92) and Heriot’s wing pairing Rory McMichael and Jack Blain are the only players to retain their spot in the starting line-up following Saturday’s defeat to New Zealand that saw the age-grade side score five tries to earn a losing bonus-point.
Head Coach Carl Hogg has recalled several experienced players, including openside flanker and captain, Connor Boyle (Watsonians), stand-off Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks) and prop Murphy Walker (Stirling County) as he names the same starting XV that faced South Africa U20 in last week’s Championship opener.
Hogg said: “We have clear targets and goals for this World Rugby U20 Championship but one of the main objectives is to represent both ourselves and Scotland with pride during the tournament.
“I was proud of the players’ resilience to bounce back from a poor start against New Zealand. There were spells within the game where we were competitive and put them under real pressure, while I thought some of the tries we scored were an excellent example of the attacking blueprint we’re trying to implement.
"However, we must learn to be more robust and stop conceding soft tries if we are to convert these battling displays into results
“If we continue to display that spirit and play intelligent, smart rugby in the right areas of the field – like we did against New Zealand – then I’ve got every belief this squad can take the next step in this Championship. Head Coach Carl Hogg
“The beauty of the last two matches is that all 28 players from the squad have fully contributed and we travel into the Georgia game in reasonably good health.
“Georgia, like South Africa and New Zealand before them, present a different challenge and we will have to adapt to their physical and forward-based style of play. We need to impose our own style of play on the contest while being respectful of Georgia’s strengths.
A revamped back-three sees Matt Davidson (London Scottish) reinstated at fullback, while Heriot’s teammates McMichael – who reverts to the wing following an impressive performance in the centre against New Zealand – and Blain continue on the flanks.
Inside centre Grant Hughes (Stirling County) returns to partner Cameron Anderson (Wasps) in midfield as Thompson and scrum-half Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains) once again link-up at half-back.
Hooker Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) – who grabbed his side’s fourth try in Saturday’s defeat to New Zealand – packs down alongside props Murphy and Euan McLaren (Ayr) in the front-row, with locks Johnson and Cameron Henderson (Stirling County) forming the remainder of the tight-five.
In the back-row, skipper Boyle and Marshall Sykes (Ayr) are named at openside and blindside flanker respectively, while Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons) – who made his Scotland U20 debut in last week’s Championship opener against South Africa – returns at number 8.
Scotland U20 team to face Georgia U20 at Racecourse Stadium, Rosario in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Wednesday 12 June (kick-off 2.30pm BST, 10.30am local time) – streamed live on world.rugby/u20
15. Matt Davidson (London Scottish)
14. Rory McMichael (Heriot’s)*
13. Cameron Anderson (Wasps)
12. Grant Hughes (Stirling County)*
11. Jack Blain (Heriot’s)*
10. Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)* VICE-CAPTAIN
9. Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains)*
1. Murphy Walker (Stirling County)*
2. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks)
3. Euan McLaren (Ayr)*
4. Ewan Johnson (Racing 92)
5. Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)*
6. Marshall Sykes (Ayr)*
7. Connor Boyle (Watsonians)* CAPTAIN
8. Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons)
16. Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy)
17. Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks)*
18. Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
19. Mak Wilson (Melrose)*
20. Ross Bundy (Stirling County)
21. Jack Hill (Durham University)
22. Kwagga van Niekerk (Lions)
23. Murray Scott (Watsonians)
24. Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks)
25. Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears)
26. Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros)
27. Ollie Smith (Ayr)*
28. Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians)
*Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy supported player