Hogg shuffles backline for Italy Test
Head Coach Carl Hogg has named a reshuffled backline for tomorrow’s World Rugby U20 Championship 9th place semi-final against Italy U20 at Rosario’s Club Old Resian (Monday 17 June,kick-off 2.30pm BST, 10.30am local time) – streamed live at world.rugby/u20
The two changes to the starting XV both come in the back division as Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians) – who makes his second start of the Championship – is named on the wing, while Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros) gets the nod at inside centre following an impressive performance from the bench against Georgia in round three.
The inclusion of both players in the starting line-up allows Cameron Anderson (Wasps) to shift to full-back as Heriot’s Rory McMichael reverts from wing to outside-centre.
Hogg said: “We were obviously disappointed with our overall performance against Georgia. We lacked control and accuracy throughout the 80 minutes. We never got the match on our agenda of high tempo multi-phase rugby because of the errors we created in our game.
“We probably put in our poorest performance of this World Rugby U20 Championship in the most pivotal match of this tournament, but the nature of this competition is that we don’t have time to dwell on the result. We need to get back on the horse for tomorrow’s fixture against Italy.
“We’ve made a couple of changes to the starting XV. Lomond MacPherson starts on the wing and we’ve got plenty of belief that he can be a real threat and punch some holes against Italy’s line speed defence. Robbie McCallum comes in at inside-centre and will be looking to once again engage the defence and win the gain line in attack.
“Italy are obviously a team we know well from the U20 Six Nations. They have an abrasive pack with some really dangerous ball-carriers, while their backline contains some threatening and elusive runners.
“Throughout this year’s Championship there have been glimpses of the potential that this squad can achieve but we need to focus on doing the simple things well under the pressure of international competition.
“We lost the first three games of the U20 6 Nations campaign earlier this year and produced a fantastic performance against Wales. It was a performance full of fight, grit and character aligned with smart rugby decisions throughout the 80 mins. We’re looking for a similar, if not better performance in game four of this Championship.”
A revamped back-three sees Anderson start at fullback, with wing Jack Blain (Heriot’s) partnered by MacPherson on the opposite flank.
McCallum’s impactful performance in round-three sees him partner McMichael in midfield, while stand-off Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks) and scrum-half Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains) make their third start together this Championship.
An unchanged front-row sees hooker Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) – who grabbed a brace of tries in the round three defeat to Georgia U20 – pack down alongside Murphy Walker (Stirling County) and Euan McLaren (Ayr).
Lock Ewan Johnson (Racing 92) – ever-present this Championship – once again links-up with Cameron Henderson (Stirling County) in the second-row.
Openside flanker Connor Boyle (Watsonians) skippers the age-grade side as blindside flanker Marshall Sykes (Ayr) and number 8 Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons) form the remainder of the pack.
Scotland U20 team to face Italy U20 at Club Old Resian, Rosario in the World Rugby U20 Championship 9th place semi-final on Monday 17 June (kick-off 2.30pm BST, 10.30am local time) – streamed live at world.rugby/u20
15. Cameron Anderson (Wasps)
14. Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians)
13. Rory McMichael (Heriot’s)*
12. Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros)
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. Ollie Smith (Ayr)*
27. Matt Davidson (London Scottish)
*Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy supported player