World Rugby U20 Championships: Scotland name side for vital clash v Italy

Scotland have named their side for tomorrow’s 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship fixture against Italy.


A win for either side will see them in with a shout of a place in the main semi finals, which are made up of the three group winners and the best runner up. With New Zealand all but certain of finishing top of Group B, these two have a shot at securing that best runners up spot, though the South Africa v France draw in Group C in round 1 could throw a spanner in the works.


With that aim in mind, Head Coach John Dalziel has made just one change to the side that beat Ireland in Sunday’s thriller.


Worcester Warriors’ Tom Dodd, a former Warwick School pupil, comes in at number 8, meaning that Matt Fagerson, one of Scotland’s brightest forward talents, moves to his more natural position of openside, with Luke Crosbie moving across the scrum to blindside.


Scotland’s biggest threat looks to be their back three, made up of the talented trio of Blair Kinghorn, Robbie Nairn, and Darcy Graham. Graham and Kinghorn are both likely to star for Edinburgh for a number of years, while Nairn is at Harlequins.


Another English based player, Connor Eastgate of Wasps, continues at fly half, with Bishop Burton College’s George Thornton at loosehead, and Gloucester’s Alex Craig in the second row, while former Uppingham pupil Archie Erskine is on the bench.


Speaking ahead of the game, Dalziel said:


“Tomorrow’s game is a huge opportunity for this group to win two pool stage games for the second year in a row and guarantee a top eight finish in the competition. The group gave everything in the game against Ireland, and that was reflected in a performance full of pride in the jersey. It was a display of true grit, with the players battling in difficult conditions to earn the victory.”


“Italy are hugely physical and will also be hunting their second victory in the competition, so it’s going to be a highly competitive contest. We need to maintain our standards and continue to build on last weekend’s victory if we’re to come out on top.”


Scotland U20 v Italy U20 – Thursday, 10am kick off – Live on


Scotland U20 XV:

15 Blair Kinghorn

14 Robbie Nairn

13 Ross McCann

12 Stafford McDowall

11 Darcy Graham

10 Connor Eastgate

9 Andrew Simmers

1 George Thornton

2 Fraser Renwick

3 Adam Nicol

4 Alex Craig

5 Callum Hunter-Hill (captain)

6 Luke Crosbie

7 Matt Fagerson

8 Tom Dodd

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Fergus Bradbury, 18 Ross Dunbar, 19 Hamish Bain, 20 Archie Erskine, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Josh Henderson, 23 Patrick Anderson.


Italy U20 XV:

15 Cioffi

14 De Masi

13 Zanon

12 Schiabel

11 D’Onofrio

10 Rizzi

9 Trussardi

1 Fischetti

2 Ceciliani

3 Riccioni (captain)

4 Cannone

5 Masselli

6 Bianchi

7 Lamaro

8 Licata

Replacements: 16 Rollero, 17 Rimpelli, 18 Gavrilita, 19 Iachizzi, 20 Manni, 21 Panunzi, 22 Di Marco, 23 Dal Zilio.


2017 World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures & Results (all times BST):


Round 1 – Wednesday 31st May
Pool APool BPool C
Australia 24-17 WalesIreland 21-22 ItalyArgentina 37-26 Georgia
England 74-17 SamoaNew Zealand 42-20 ScotlandSouth Africa 23-23 France


Round 2 – Sunday 4th June
Pool APool BPool C
Australia 33-26 SamoaIreland 28-32 ScotlandArgentina 25-26 France
England 34-22 WalesNew Zealand 68-26 ItalySouth Africa 38-14 Georgia


Round 3 – Thursday 8th June
Pool APool BPool C
England v Australia – 5.30pmIreland v New Zealand – 12.30pmArgentina v South Africa – 12.30pm
Wales v Samoa – 10amScotland v Italy – 10amFrance v Georgia – 3pm


Semi Finals – Tuesday 13th June


Finals – Sunday 18th June



2017 World Rugby U20 Championship Group Standings:


Group A


Group B
1New Zealand2200210


Group C
1South Africa211017
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