The Scotland U20 squad for the forthcoming Word Rugby U20 Championship has been named.
Head Coach Sean Lineen has named a 28-man squad for the tournament, formerly known as the IRB Junior World Championship, which will take place from the 2nd June to the 20th.
Six players in the squad currently ply their trade outside of Scotland, with former Millfield pupil Alec Coombes, now at London Scottish, a familiar name to many, as is Northampton Saintsâ€™ Rory Hutchinson.
Ben Vellacott plays at Hartpury College, while the former Bath Academy winger Richard Galloway joins the squad after impressing for the U19s, he is currently at Brimingham University. Patrick Kelly, currently at Le Parc, makes the squad, while the only Exile in the pack is Waspsâ€™ Sam James. Ruaraidh Smith of Currie in the back division is a former exile, having captained the Oakham School 1st XV in the 2012/13 season.
In total 24 of the 28-man squad featured in the U20 Six Nations campaign, Scotland best ever tournament. They finished third after victories over Wales, Italy and Ireland. Ireland will be among Scotlandâ€™s opponents in the U20 Championship, with Argentina and New Zealand completing a tough group.
Prop Callum Sheldon and the aforementioned Galloway are two of the new additions to the squad, as are wing Robbie Nairn and fly half Blair Kinghorn, who are promoted from the U18 set up.
The squad will meet every week between now and the tournament before facing a combined Edinburgh and Glasgow â€˜Aâ€™ XV, followed by a game against Wales U20 before they set off for the tournament in Italy.
Speaking about his squad, the positivity following the Six Nations, and looking ahead to the Championship, Sean Lineen said:
Â â€œThereâ€™s a good mixture of guys that have been there and done it, and players who havenâ€™t had any experience at under-20 level. After the recent Six Nations, thereâ€™s a good buzz surrounding the group, but the World Championships is a whole different ball game â€“ five games in 19 days, in a warm Italy, is going to be very tough.â€
â€œWe fielded 15 boys over the course of the Six Nations tournament who still have another year at under-20 level, which is a real positive in terms of building their experience early and puts them in good stead for the tournament. Weâ€™ve got a tough group, so weâ€™re under no illusion that weâ€™ve got to go over there and give it our all, approaching the tournament in the right frame of mind is key. We need to make sure that we always bring our tenacity and every single member of the squad performs to the very best of their ability, game in, game out â€“ we canâ€™t rely on a select group to go out there and do the job.â€
â€œAfter a really positive Six Nations, we need to remain grounded and continue to knuckle down, keep learning and work hard to improve our game. Our job, as coaches, is to provide the right environment to help them grow as players, to motivate them to better themselves and to make sure they enjoy playing the game.â€
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of preparation been put in place, and weâ€™re hoping this provides the right platform ahead of the tournament. The more we can get these boys training and playing together, the better it is for them both as individuals and as a collective. Itâ€™s always an exciting time prior to these big occasions, theyâ€™re a really driven and hungry squad, who all want to continue to progress in rugby, and the World Championship will provide a real opportunity for them to prove themselves at a higher level.â€
â€œWe have a brave and well-drilled forward pack who are complemented by a talented set of backs. Weâ€™re looking forward to getting the best out of them. Itâ€™s going to be competitive â€“ we have 28 players to play five games in 19 days. Yet, with the desire and attitude the players possess, I have no doubt they will relish in what is always a fantastic tournament.â€
Scotland U20 Squad:
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir)
Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
Dan Elkington (Watsonians)
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
Ross Graham (Hawick)
Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)
Sam James (Wasps)
Ruaridh Knott (Melrose)
Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)
Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby)
Gary Robertson (Gala)
Callum Sheldon (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)
Lewis Wynne (Stirling County)
Alec Coombes (London Scottish)
Tom Galbraith (Melrose)
Richard Galloway (University of Birmingham)
George Horne (Glasgow Hawks)
Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala)
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
Patrick Kelly (Le Parc)
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)
Robbie Nairn (George Watsonâ€™s College/Currie)
Archie Russell (Stirling County)
Ruaraidh Smith (Currie)
Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College)