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Scotland U20 side to face England named

Scotland U20 have named their side to face England U20 at the Northern Echo Arena on Friday.

Head Coach Sean Linnen makes two changes to the side that beat Italy 45-0 last time out, bringing Wasps hooker Sam James into the starting lineup, with Ross Graham moving to the bench, while winger Ben Robbins is also promoted to the starting XV, with former Oakham School captain Ruaraidh Smith dropping to the bench.

Elsewhere Jamie Ritchie continues as captain at openside, while former Millfield star Alec Coombes retains his place on the left wing, with Northampton Saints fly half Rory Hutchinson starting once again too.

On the bench Coombes’ former school teammate Jack Owlett retains his place, as does Hartpury College’s Ben Vellacott.

It is a crucial game in the Championship, England are currently top, with Scotland in 4th, however England, Ireland, France, and Scotland are all tied on points with on points difference separating the teams. A victory for either side on Friday will therefore have a big say in the final destination of the U20 6 Nations trophy.

Speaking ahead of the game, Lineen said:

“We haven’t made any changes to last round’s match-day 23, as we are beginning to find a nice balance and gel as a group. Our set-piece was excellent in our two previous matches, so consistency in selection will only help this aspect of the game as we come up against a very powerful English front-eight.”

“The effort from the players in this competition has been encouraging. They’re a brave group who show a lot of commitment to the team and the badge when out on the field.”

“We are now in a position to have a real crack, to be consistent in what we do and really challenge our rugby ability against the best. To be competitive against England, we all need to bring our A game and play for the full 80 minutes.”

“It will be a tremendous experience for the players and one they are looking forward to.”

England U20 v Scotland U20 – Friday, 17.30, Northern Echo Arena (Live on Sky Sports 3)

Scotland XV

15 Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala)

14 Ben Robbins (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

13 Archie Russell (Stirling County)

12 Patrick Kelly (Le Parc)

11 Alec Coombes (London Scottish)

10 Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)

9 George Horne (Glasgow Hawks)

1 Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)

2 Sam James (Wasps)

3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

4 Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

5 Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)

6 Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)

7 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby, captain)

8 Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir)

Replacements

16 Ross Graham (Hawick)

17 Dan Elkington (Watsonians)

18 Jack Owlett (Exeter Chiefs/ Exeter University)

19 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

20 Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

21 Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College)

22 Tom Galbraith (Melrose)

23 Ruaraidh Smith (Currie)

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