KENNY MURRAY has named 12 debutants in his 23-strong Scotland Under-20s matchday squad for tomorrow night’s Six Nations campaign opener against England at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh.
The new faces in the side are blindside flanker Matthew Deehan from Newcastle Falcons, second-row Josh Taylor from Ealing Trailfinders and fit again Currie Chieftains tight-head prop Gregor Scougall, who wasn’t named in the training squad announced last week due to a lower limb injury.
Behind the scrum, Jed Gelderbloom starts at scrum-half, Duncan Munn of Boroughmuir Bears is in the centre and Robin McClintock of Montpellier is at full-back.
The side will be captained by flanker Rhys Tait, who is from Hawick but is now on an apprentice contract with Glasgow Warriors.
“The team are in a really good place after working hard over the last few months,” said head coach Murray. “I’m really happy with the squad we’ve been able to select, 11 players have played in an international match of this level before, so they know what to expect.
“It will be a really special night at the DAM Health Stadium on Friday as this group of players get to experience representing their country for the first time on home soil since all 2021 Under-20 Six Nations fixtures were held in Cardiff due to Covid protocols.
“A large crowd is expected so it should be a great atmosphere to open our campaign with.
“We know what is coming, we have seen a bit of England and they are a big side, but we are looking forward to it.”
“It is the Auld Enemy it is the big derby and the boys know that. We have a few Exiles so they know some of the boys in the England set-up which is useful. They have been sharing information and will continue to do so.
“Once the boys get over the initial nerves and seeing the white jerseys with red roses, I am sure they will get stuck into them.”
Scotland U20s: Robin McClintock (Montpellier); Ross McKnight (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Munn (Boroughmuir Bears), Michael Gray (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors), Ollie Melville (Newcastle University); Christian Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors), Jed Gelderbloom (Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Banatvala (Durham University), Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh Rugby), Gregor Scougall (Currie Chieftains), Josh Taylor (Ealing Trailfinders), Max Williamson (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Matthew Deehan (Newcastle Falcons), Rhys Tait (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN, Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter University).
Replacements: Gregor Hiddleston (GHA), Michael Jones (Heriot’s Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby), Callum Norrie (Strathallan School), Jake Spurway (Durham University), Olujare Oguntibeju (Ealing Trailfinders), Tim Brown (Glasgow Hawks), Euan Cunningham (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Ben Evans (Heriot’s Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby).