Watsonians full-back Rufus McLean is one of three changes to the Scotland U20s team to face Ireland at Netherdale in the U20s Six Nations this Friday night.
The inclusion of McLean – who scored a late try off the bench in last Friday’s U20s Six Nations opener against Italy – is the only alteration to the back line as a replacement for Ollie Smith.
Head coach Carl Hogg has made two further changes to the forward pack for the fixture against Ireland (8 February, kick-off 7.30pm).
Sale Sharks’ Ewan Ashman replaces the injured Finlay Scott at hooker and makes his first start at U20 level, while Charlie Jupp shifts to blindside flanker, allowing Stirling County lock, Cameron Henderson, to partner Ewan Johnson in the second-row.
Ahead of the fixture, Hogg commented: “I thought we came into the opening game of the Six Nations Championship with a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm.
“The key thing is being able to harness that emotion and passion, along with the process required to deliver a winning performance. We unfortunately didn’t achieve that balance and made some simple errors.
“We learned a huge amount from last week. In the first game with any new group, there’s a level of uncertainty about what behaviours and information will be retained in the heat of a match.
“This week we have made great strides in training, both in attack and defence, and this will be put to the test against a very good Irish under-20 team, who come in to the match off the back of a victory against England.”
The inclusion of McLean at full-back is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three as Heriot’s wing pairing Rory McMichael and Jack Blain are once again named on the flanks.
An unchanged centre duo sees Wasps’ prospect Cameron Anderson link-up with Robbie McCallum in midfield, while stand-off Ross Thompson – who makes his 12th appearance for the age-grade side – starts alongside Currie Chieftain’s scrum-half Roan Frostwick.
In the front-row, hooker Ashman packs down alongside props Sam Grahamslaw and Murphy Walker.
Henderson comes into the starting line-up to partner Johnson in the second-row, while No.8 Kwagga van Niekirk anchors a back-row featuring flankers Connor Boyle – who is once again named as captain – and Jupp.
Tickets for the fixture are available at scottishrugbytickets.com. Alternatively, they can be purchased at the gate on the night. Ticket prices will increase on match day.
Scotland U20s team to face Ireland U20s at Netherdale
Friday 8 February (kick-off 7.30pm)
15. Rufus McLean (Watsonians)
14. Rory McMichael (Heriot’s)
13. Cameron Anderson (Wasps)
12. Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros)
11. Jack Blain (Heriot’s)
10. Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks) VICE-CAPTAIN
9. Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains)
1. Sam Grahamslaw (Leicester Tigers)
2. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks)
3. Murphy Walker (Stirling County)
4. Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)
5. Ewan Johnson (Racing 92)
6. Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s)
7. Connor Boyle (Watsonians) Captain
8. Kwagga Van Niekirk (Lions)
- Angus Fraser (Glasgow Hawks)
- Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks)
- Euan McLaren (Ayr)
- Ross Bundy (Stirling County)
- Jack Mann (Edinburgh Accies)
- Kyle McGhie (Musselburgh)
- Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears)
- Matt Davidson (London Scottish)