Scotland U20 have named their side for their final match of the 2015 U20 6 Nations campaign, against Ireland.
Sean Lineen makes three changes to the starting side that lost to England last week, as he chases second place in the Championship. Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are all tied two points behind England and France at the top. But with England and France playing in what is effectively a title decider in Brighton tomorrow evening, second place is very much up for grabs for these three.
The bad news for Lineen is that his captain Jamie Ritchie is out, so in comes Ally Miller at openside, with number 8 Magnus Bradbury taking over the armband.
Lineen has full faith in Bradbury stepping into the role though, saying:
“Jamie (Ritchie) will be missed as captain, but Magnus (Bradbury) will step up to the responsibility of skipper and lead from the front.
“When Magnus takes to the field on Friday, he will make his fifteenth appearance for Scotland Under-20, so he knows exactly what it takes to set an example for the team to follow.”
Elsewhere Scott Cummings comes in for Andrew Davidson in the second row, while in the backline Tom Galbraith replaces Archie Russell at centre.
Davidson and Russell stay in the squad though, they will be on the bench, where Sherborne old boy Richard Galloway comes in for former Oakham captain Ruaraidh Smith, while Ruairi Knott fills the space vacated by Millerâ€™s promotion to the starting XV in Ritchieâ€™s absence. The final change sees Gary Robertson come in for the former Millfield prop Jack Owlett on the bench.
Owlettâ€™s former school teammate Alec Coombes retains his place on the left wing, as does Northampton Saints fly half Rory Hutchinson, with Waspsâ€™ Sam James at hooker and Hartpury College scrum half Ben Vellacott waiting in the wings on the bench.
Speaking ahead of the game, Lineen said:
“There has always been a belief in this group that we can do something special, and to win all three games at home would be huge for us, these boys have displayed some real flair, and, especially against Wales, a grit and desire to win in the Scotland shirt. I think this is reflected in their results so far.â€
“A victory could see us grab our highest tournament finish to date, so that is what we’re targeting.
“We know it’s going to be tough, but we’re looking to forward to what will be a fierce encounter against the Irish and hopefully we get a good crowd down to Netherdale.”
You can see the Ireland team via this link: Ireland U20 v Scotland.
Scotland U20 v Ireland U20 – Netherdale, Galashiels, Friday, 19.30
15. Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala)
14. Ben Robbins (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)
13. Tom Galbraith (Melrose)
12. Patrick Kelly (Le Parc)
11. Alec Coombes (London Scottish)
10. Rory Huthchinson (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. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
5. Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)
6. Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)
7. Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)
8. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir) (c)
16. Ross Graham (Hawick)
17. Dan Elkington (Watsonians)
18. Gary Robertson (Gala)
19. Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
20. Ruairi Knott (Melrose)
21. Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College)
22. Archie Russell (Stirling County)
23. Richard Galloway (Birmingham University)