Scotland U20 ring the changes for key Ireland clash


The Scotland U20 side to face Ireland in their second game of this year’s World Rugby U20 Championship has been named.

Head Coach Sean Lineen has made eight changes to the side that lost heavily, 68-10, to New Zealand on Tuesday as he looks to repeat his side’s 17-10 6 Nations victory over Ireland.

It will be no easy task, Ireland showed great spirit and determination on Tuesday to secure an 18-16 victory over Argentina courtesy of a last minute Tomas Quinlan kick – Pool C certainly appears to be one of the trickiest of all.

There are four newcomers in the backline, Patrick Kelly comes in at inside centre, with Tom Galbraith moving out to the thirteen shirt, with Harlequins winger Robbie Nairn coming in on the right wing after recovering from illness.

It’s all change at half back where Blair Kinghorn and George Horne, whose brother Peter is in the Scotland World Cup training squad, come in for Exiles Rory Hutchinson and Ben Vellacott and stand off and scrum half respectively.

Former Millfield pupil Alec Coombes and Edinburgh full back Ruairi Howarth retain their palces.

Up front Murray McCallum and Zander Fagerson come in a prop, Exiles Dan Elkington, formely of Sedbergh, and Jack Owlett, formerly of Millfield, are on the bench. Bedford Blues’ Sam James retains his palce at hooker.

Scott Cummings and Lewis Carmichael retain their places in the second row, while Neil Irvine-Hess and Magnus Bradbury come into the back row. Jamie Ritchie once again captains from the openside flank.

Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach Sean Lineen said:

“We always knew it was going to be tough with five games in 18 days. It’s a quick turnaround and a busy tournament, and with such comes a lot of changes in the squad.”

“Our first game against New Zealand was very tough, physically and mentally, yet Ireland are in the same boat after their close encounter with a big Argentina side. Some boys included in this match-day squad have been out here for nearly two weeks and haven’t played yet, so they’re champing at the bit to get out there.”

Lineen was keen not to read too much into Scotland’s victory over Ireland during the 6 Nations, saying:

“Teams will have continued to work hard to improve over the period in between the two tournaments, so we are aware that we won’t face the same Ireland team as we did at Netherdale back in March.”

“There is no doubt that we’re in for another very tough and tight encounter, but, as always, we’ll go out there and embrace the challenge.”

Scotland U20 v Ireland U20 – Stadio San Michele, Calvisano, Saturday, 15.30 (BT Sport 2)

Scotland U20 XV:

15 Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh/Gala)

14 Robbie Nairn (Harlequins)

13 Tom Galbraith (Melrose)

12 Patrick Kelly (Le Parc)

11 Alec Coombes (London Scottish)

10 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)

9 George Horne (Glasgow Hawks)

1 Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar)

2 Sam James (Bedford Blues)

3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

4 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

5 Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)

6 Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose)

7 Jamie Ritchie (c) (Edinburgh)

8 Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh)


16 Ross Graham (Hawick)

17 Dan Elkington (Watsonians)

18 Jack Owlett (Edinburgh University)

19 Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)

20 Ruaraidh Knott (Melrose)

21 Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College)

22 Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)

23 Richard Galloway (University of Birmingham)

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