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Scotland name side for U20 opener against mighty New Zealand

Scotland have named their side for today’s opening game at this year’s World Rugby U20 Championship against New Zealand in Parma.

It is a tough opening for the Scots, New Zealand are the most successful side at U20 level having won the first four editions of this competition from 2008 to 2011, however Scotland impressed during the Six Nations, winning all three of their home games, and they will be looking to build on that in Italy.

Prop Callum Sheldon and wing Robbie Nairn make their U20 debuts against the Baby Blacks, as will Blair Kinghorn, who was played for the U18s just a few weeks ago, and Richard Galloway should they come on from the bench.

Galloway, a former Sherborne School pupil and current Birmingham University student, is one of a number of English based players in the squad.

Hooker Sam James is currently at Wasps and is a former Bishop’s Stortford High School pupil, while on the left wing Alec Coombes is currently at London Scottish having left Millfield just over a year ago.

It is an all English based half back combination for the young Scots too, Hartpury College’s Ben Vellacott starts at scrum half and Northampton Saints’ former Felsted pupil Rory Hutchinson starts at fly half.

Speaking ahead of the game Head Coach Sean Lineen said:

“We’re looking forward to getting our campaign underway with a huge challenge tomorrow night. We know how physical New Zealand will be and, as an opening game, it can’t get much tougher.”

“To be the best, you’ve got to play the best, and New Zealand are always there or there about. This tournament is a huge stage for all involved, so we need to rise to the occasion, but make sure we don’t get caught up in the hype and stick to our structures.”

Scotland U20 v New Zealand U20 – Stadio XXV Aprile, Parma – 19.30, BT Sport 2

Scotland U20 XV:

15. Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala)

14. Robbie Nairn (George Watson’s College/Currie)

13. Archie Russell (Stirling County)

12. Tom Galbraith (Melrose)

11. Alec Coombes (London Scottish)

10. Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)

9. Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College)

1. Dan Elkington (Watsonians)

2. Sam James (Wasps)

3. Callum Sheldon (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

5. Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)

6. Lewis Wynne (Stirling County)

7. Jamie Ritchie (c) (Edinburgh Rugby)

8. Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby/Watsonians)

Replacements

16. Ross Graham (Hawick)

17. Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)

18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

19. Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)

20. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby/Boroughmuir)

21. George Horne (Glasgow Hawks)

22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)

23. Richard Galloway (University of Birmingham)

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