Scotland have named their squad for the forthcoming U20 Six Nations campaign, which begins on Friday against England in a 7pm kick off at the Twickenham Stoop.
That game, along with all of the U20 Six Nations games, will be live on BBC iPlayer as Scotland kick off a season that they hope will end in promotion back to the World Rugby U20 Championships, the for which was announced yesterday along with the World Rugby U20 Trophy, which Scotland will be competing in after their relegation from the Championships in 2019.
Of the 34 players named, 27 have developed their skills in Scottish schools and clubs, with the other 7 coming through the Scottish Qualified system which identifies potential players from outside of the country who qualify to play for Scotland through certain eligibility criteria.
The squad will be jointly led by the outstanding Liam McConnell of Edinburgh Rugby and Boroughmuir Bears and Duncan Munn, the Glasgow Warrior who is also a teammate of McConnell’s at Boroughmuir. McConnell will lead the forward pack from the back row, and Munn the backs from the centres.
McConnell will be joined by three other young Edinburgh Rugby players, fellow forwards Robbie Deans of Watsonians and Rudi Brown of Southern Knights, and Heriot’s Ben Evans in the backs.
Munn is one of six Glasgow Warriors in the squad, four of whom hail from Stirling Wolves, Callum Norrie, Harris McLeod, Finlay Burgess, and Logan Jarvie, with Ayshire Bulls’ Ben Afshar the only other non-Stirling Glasgow Warrior in the squad.
Only Glasgow Hawks have as many in the squad as Stirling, Moby Ogunlaja, Eben Cairns, Ruairaigh Hart, and Kerr Yule. Boroughmuir have three, McConnell, Munn, and their teammate Jerry Blyth-Lafferty.
Among the other Scottish clubs, Watsonians have two players in the squad, with Craig Davidson joining Robbie Deans, Southern Knights also have two players, Rudi Brown is joined by Sam Derrick. GHA are another side represented by two players, Jonny Morris and Amena Caqusau, so to Gala through Harris Rutherford and Murray Wilson. Ayrshire Bulls and Heriots also have two represented in the squad, Richie Simpson representing Ayrshire alongside the aforementioned Afshar, likewise Dan King represents Heriots as well as Ben Evans.
Currie Chieftains and Mussleburgh each have a player in the squad too, Currie see Johnny Rutherford included in the squad, with Findlay Thompson representing Mussleburgh.
There is a healthy contingent of players currently based in England in the squad too, 8 in total. Harlequins scrum half Charlie Clare, who starred as a schoolboy for Brighton College last year, is currently at Surrey University and is included, likewise Eddie Erskine in the second row, who was a totem for Millfield and is now representing Bath Academy and in BUCS Super Rugby Bath University.
Speaking of BUCS Super Rugby, Cardiff Met University have two players included in the squad, Max Surry and Ewan Guy, both in the forward pack, with Exeter University’s Elliot Young, who is part of the Exeter Chiefs Academy, is also included.
Brunel University are creeping up the BUCS ladder in partnership with Ealing Trailfinders, and two of those Brunel and Ealing Trailfinders players are included in the squad, Jake Parkinson and Geordie Gwynn. Plying their trade in the Championship along with Ealing are Caldy RFC and they see William Robinson called into the squad.
Commenting on his squad, Kenny Murray said: “We had a tough campaign last year although that gave a number of our players the experience of a high-pressure international playing environment. I feel pleased about our preparations as we head into the Under-20 2023 Six Nations.”
“We’ve been able to name a strong squad today although there are a number of players still to return from injury who may be added to the squad over the course of the Championship. Over the past year in the role I’ve been able to build strong relationships with the players, and a new coaching group, as we develop them into not only great rugby players but great people too. I have been impressed by the players commitment to their craft across the course of the programme and I’m looking forward to what will be an exciting campaign ahead.”
Scotland 2023 U20 Six Nations Squad
Max Surry (Cardiff Met University)
Craig Davidson (Watsonians RFC)
Moby Ogunlaja (Glasgow Hawks)
Callum Norrie (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
Robbie Deans (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby)
Eben Cairns (Glasgow Hawks)
Elliot Young (Exeter Chiefs/Exeter University)
Corey Tait (Boroughmuir Bears)
Jerry Blyth-Lafferty (Boroughmuir Bears)
Harris McLeod (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
Ruairaidh Hart (Glasgow Hawks)
Eddie Erskine (Bath Rugby/Bath University)
Jake Parkinson (Ealing Trailfinders/Brunel University)
Rudi Brown (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby)
Sam Derrick (Southern Knights)
Jonny Morris (GHA RFC)
Liam McConnell (Boroughmuir Bears/Edinburgh Rugby)
Ewan Guy (Cardiff Met University)
Johnny Rutherford (Currie Chieftains)
Ben Afshar (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors)
Finlay Burgess (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
Charlie Clare (Harlequins/Surrey University)
Richie Simpson (Ayrshire Bulls)
Harris Rutherford (Gala RFC)
Kerr Yule (Glasgow Hawks)
Duncan Munn (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors)
Murray Wilson (Gala RFC)
Geordie Gwynn (Ealing Trailfinders/Brunel University)
Findlay Thomson (Musselburgh RFC)
Amena Caqusau (GHA RFC)
William Robinson (Caldy RFC)
Logan Jarvie (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
Dan King (Heriot’s Rugby)
Ben Evans (Heriot’s Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)
Scotland’s U20 Six Nations Fixtures
Friday 3rd February: England (7pm, Twickenham Stoop)
Friday 10th February: Wales (7.15pm, Scotstoun)
Friday 24th February: France (8pm, Armandie Stadium, Agen)
Friday 10th March: Ireland (7.15pm, Scotstoun)
Sunday 19th March: Italy (2pm, Scotstoun)
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