Scotland have made five changes to their starting team to play Italy tomorrow as they look to bounce back from a heavy defeat to England on Saturday.
Scotland opened their tournament in flying style, beating Australia for the first time, but they went down hard against England on Saturday, losing 44-0 to the host nation, losing their semi finals qualification hopes in the process.
Nevertheless, Scotland could still register their best ever U20 Championship. A win could see them qualify for the 5th-8th semi finals, and were they to finish higher than 8th that would seal their best ever result.
To do so they will need to beat Italy at the Manchester City Academy Stadium at 15.15 tomorrow. Coming into the side are Murray McCallum and Zander Fagerson, a man already capped by the full national side, who will pop down either side of the retained Jake Kerr.
Matt Smith comes back into the back row at openside, with Edinburgh’s rising star Jamie Ritchie moving to blindside with Ally Miller at number eight. Callum Hunter-Hill and Scott Cummings maintain their second row partnership, with Cummings again skippering the side.
There is good news in the back division where star fly half Adam Hastings returns from injury. The son of Scotland legend Gavin, who plays for Bath and is a product of Millfield School, will link up with Hugh Fraser, who is retained at centre.
Hastings’ return allows Blair Kinghorn to move from fly half to his preferred full back role, with Robbie Nairn of Harlquins and Ben Robbins retaining their wing spots.
Robbins’ Currie teammate Matt McPhillips is the final change for Scotland, the youngster makes his first start for the U20s and will partner Tom Galbraith in the midfield.
Speaking to www.scottishrugby.org ahead of the game, Head Coach John Dalziel said:
There is no denying that this is a huge game for us, with a lot resting on the result. After the disappointment of the loss to England, we’ve refocused quickly and trained well in preparation for tomorrow’s game against what will be a physical Italian side, who possess a strong set-piece.”
“We’ve got a lot of experience in our side for this game, and we’re hoping that this will come to the fore and revitalise the team as we chase an all-important victory, which would see us record two pool stage wins for the first time ever in this competition.”
Scotland U20 v Italy U20 – Wednesday, 15.15, Manchester City Academy Stadium – Live on Sky Sports 4
Scotland U20 XV
15 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby)
14 Robbie Nairn (Harlequins)
13 Tom Galbraith (Melrose)
12 Matt McPhillips (Currie)
11 Ben Robbins (Currie)
10 Adam Hastings (Bath Rugby)
9 Hugh Fraser (Heriot’s)
1 Murray McCallum (Heriot’s)
2 Jake Kerr (Boroughmuir)
3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
4 Callum Hunter-Hill (Stirling County)
5 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors, captain)
6 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby)
7 Matt Smith (Glasgow Hawks)
8 Ally Miller (Melrose)
16 Lewis Anderson (Ayr)
17 Dan Elkington (Melrose)
18 George Thornton (Bishop Burton College)
19 Alex Craig (Hartpury College)
20 Lewis Wynne (Stirling County)
21 Scott Burnside (Boroughmuir)
22 Charlie Shiel (Currie)
23 Cameron Gray (Currie)
World Rugby U20 Championship Round 2 Results:
New Zealand 24-33 Ireland (Pool A)
Wales 10-9 Georgia (Pool A)
Australia 38-10 Italy (Pool B)
England 44-0 Scotland (Pool B)
France 46-14 Japan (Pool C)
South Africa 13-19 Argentina (Pool C)
World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures:
Wednesday 15th June
Scotland v Italy (Pool B, Manchester City Academy Stadium, 15.15)
Argentina v Japan (Pool C, AJ Bell, 15.15)
Ireland v Georgia (Pool A, Manchester City Academy Stadium, 17.30)
New Zealand v Wales (Pool A, AJ Bell, 17.30)
South Africa v France (Pool C, Manchester City Academy Stadium, 19.45)
England v Australia (Pool B, AJ Bell, 19.45)
Monday 20th June – Semi Finals Day (Pool Winners and best runner up compete in semi finals, next two runners up and top two third place in 5th – 8th seeding games, three pool losers and worst third placed side in 9th – 12th seeding games)
Saturday 25th June – Finals Day
|World Rugby U20 Championship – Pool A Standings|
|World Rugby U20 Championship – Pool B Standings|
|World Rugby U20 Championship – Pool C Standings|