Scotland have made eight changes for their World Rugby U20 Championship clash with England.
Four of the changes from the side that beat Australia on Tuesday are due to injury, with the other four down to selection. The star of that Australia, Darcy Graham, has had to go home due to a head injury, with Northampton Saints’ Rory Hutchinson, who started at outside centre, also out of the tournament. They are replaced in the squad by Hartpury College’s Reuben Norville and George Watston’s College’s Lewis Berg, both players are promoted from the U18 squad. Adam Hastings and Lewis Wynne are both missing from the England game with concussion but are expected to return later in the tournament.
Following the Australia win, the England game is crucial and a win could set Scotland up for their best ever finish at the U20 Championships (8th). They have every reason to be confident heading into this game too, having beaten England well during the U20 6 Nations.
Coming into the side are Currie’s Cameron Gray and Harlequins’ Robbie Nairn on the two wings, with Ben Robbins moving to full back and Blair Kinghorn shifting from the 15 shirt to the fly half spot vacated by Hastings.
Melrose’s George Taylor comes into the centres in place of Hutchinson, he links up in the midfield with clubmate Tom Galbraith, Round 1 ‘Dream Team’ player, Hugh Fraser, retains his place at scrum half.
Up front Scotland rotate their props, with Dan Elkington, formerly of Sedbergh, and Leeds Beckett University’s Callum Sheldon starting, Jake Kerr stays at hooker.
Callum Hunter-Hill replaces Andrew Davidson in the second row, he starts alongside captain Scott Cummings. In the back row Jamie Ritchie switches from 8 to 7, with Scott Burnside and Ally Miller coming in.
Speaking ahead of the game, Scotland U20 Head Coach John Dalziel said:
“We’ve fielded another strong team to take on England, which is testament to the depth of talent we’ve got in the current squad. We’ve always considered the tight turnaround between the first two games, especially taking into account the physicality of both Australia and England, and we’re fortunate in that we’ve been able to bring in five players who started regularly in the Six Nations.”
“As with England, we have fresh players entering the fray who will bring a different energy, and they’ll be looking to set down their markers as individuals in this competition.“
“We were happy to open with a victory, but we are focused on continuing to improve throughout the tournament and build on our early momentum. England at home are always going to prove a tough test, but one we’ll be looking to relish in. It’s a huge occasion for all involved; playing the host nation at a sold-out stadium in the World Championship is the ultimate challenge for these players at this stage of their career.”
Scotland U20 v England U20 – Manchester City Academy Stadium, tomorrow, 18.00 – Live on Sky Sports
Scotland U20 XV
15 Ben Robbins (Currie)
14 Robbie Nairn (Harlequins)
13 George Taylor (Melrose)
12 Tom Galbraith (Melrose)
11 Cameron Gray (Currie)
10 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby)
9 Hugh Fraser (Heriot’s)
1 Dan Ekington (Melrose)
2 Jake Kerr (Boroughmuir)
3 Callum Sheldon (Leeds Beckett University)
4 Callum Hunter-Hill (Stirling County)
5 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors, captain)
6 Scott Burnside (Boroughmuir)
7 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby)
8 Ally Miller (Melrose)
16 Lewis Anderson (Ayr)
17 George Thornton (Bishop Burton College)
18 Murray McCallum (Heriot’s)
19 Andrew Davidson (Newcastle Falcons)
20 Matt Smith (Glasgow Hawks)
21 Charlie Shiel (Currie)
22 Matt McPhillips (Currie)
23 Reuben Norville (Hartpury College)