Scotland have named their 26-man squad for the forthcoming U18 6 Nations Festival.
The tournament kicks off this Saturday, with Scotland facing England at 12pm. The Festival consists of three matchdays, with Saturday’s taking place at Ystrad Mynach, Wales’ Centre of Sporting Excellence, with the further two taking palce on Wednesday 4th April and Sunday 8th April.
Following the game against England, Scotland face France at 5pm on the 4th before taking on Ireland at 12pm on the 8th, both games will be at the Cardiff Arms Park.
Head Coach Iain Monaghan has picked eight Scottish Exiles in the squad, among them Sedbergh’s Jack Hill, who becomes the fifth Sedbergh player selected in a squad for the tournament after Carwyn Tuipulotu was selected for Wales and Bevan Rodd, Rob Farrar, and Josh Hodge were named in the England squad.
Joining Hill in the forward pack are Henley College’s Alex Pleasants, whose schoolmate Will Simonds is in the England squad, and Hymers College’s Archie Smeaton.
Smeaton is one of two Yorkshire Carnegie players in the Scotland squad, the other being Bishop Burton College outside half Dan Lancaster, son of the former England Head Coach and current Leinster Head Coach, Stuart.
Joining Lancaster in the back division is SGS Filton College fly half Nathan Chamberlain, his school half back partner Blake Boyland is in the England squad.
Stowe’s Kristian Kay is also among the backs, like Pleasant he plays his club rugby at Wasps. St Peter’s York’s Charlie Hudson is also named, Hudson was earlier in the season named in the ISRFC Lambs U18 National Squad before his Scotland call up ruled him ineligible.
Also included in Femi Sofolarin, who was a major part of Dulwich College’s Champions Trophy winning campaign this season and scored a sensational try for Harlequins in the U18 Academy League finals.
Scotland have played a couple of warm up games prior to the tournament, losing to a late Wales try 32-30 before falling to a tough 64-0 defeat to England at BT Murrayfield a fortnight ago. With England first up though, it seems certain that Scotland will be determined to earn back some credit from the men in white on Saturday.
Commenting ahead of the game, Scotland Head Coach Iain Monaghan said to Scottish Rugby:
“We’re looking forward to travelling to Wales later this week to compete in the Six Nations U18 Festival. We have three tough games and we’ll be aiming to make further progress following matches against Wales and England earlier this month.”
“It’s a great opportunity for our players to play against top level opposition away from home and for us to build on what we’ve been working on.”
Scotland U18 Squad for the U18 6 Nations Festival (31st March – 8th April):
Thomas Jeffrey (Peebles)
Mak Wilson (Duns)
Daniel Gamble (Kelso/Merchiston Castle)
Alex Pleasants (Henley College/Wasps)
Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy)
Scott Clelland (Ayr)
Cameron Henderson (Strathallan)
Cameron Brown (Kelso)
Jack Hill (Sedbergh)
Tom Morris (Dollar Academy)
Archie Smeaton (Yorkshire Carnegie/Hymers College)
Gavin Wilson (Dumfries Saints)
Connor Boyle (Stewart’s Melville College/Stewart’s Meville RFC)
Rory Darge (Borders College/Melrose)
Kristian Kay (Stowe/Wasps)
Jamie Dobie (Merchiston Castle)
Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol/SGS Filton College)
Robbie McCallum (Loretto)
Dan Lancaster (Yorkshire Carnegie/Bishop Burton College)
Scott Robeson (George Heriot’s)
Paul Cunningham (George Watson’s College)
Jack Blain (Stewart’s Melville College/Stewarts Melville RFC)
Matthew Currie (Merchiston Castle)
Rufus McLean (Merchiston Castle)
Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York)
Femi Sofolarin (Dulwich College/Harlequins)
U18 6 Nations Festival Schedule: Saturday 31st March to Sunday 8th April
Matchday 1 – Saturday 31st March, Ystrad Mynach (Centre of Sporting Excellence)
Scotland U18 v England U18 – 12pm
Wales U18 v France U18 – 2.30pm
Ireland U18 v Italy U18 – 5pm
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 4th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Italy U18 v England U18 – 12pm
Ireland U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm
France U18 v Scotland U18 – 5pm
Matchday 3 – Sunday 8th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Ireland U18 v Scotland U18 – 12pm
Italy U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm
France U18 v England U18 – 5pm