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Scotland Under-20s reshuffle backline ahead of France Test

Scotland Under-20s reshuffle backline ahead of France Test

Stirling County centre Grant Hughes is set to make his Scotland Under-20s debut as head coach Carl Hogg names a reshuffled backline to face France in Pau on Friday night.

The inclusion of Hughes – who has previously represented Scotland at Under-18 level – is one of three changes to the side’s back division, with the debutant replacing Cameron Anderson in midfield.

Hughes is partnered in the centre by the returning Ollie Smith, while Matt Davidson is named at full-back after impressing from the bench against Ireland two weeks ago.

The only alteration to the forward pack sees Ross Bundy make his first start after being selected at No.8 in the place of Kwagga van Niekirk.

Ahead of the fixture, Hogg said: “Grant [Hughes] is a very good communicator at 12 and we think he’ll really help out our half-back combination in organising our backline. We’re looking forward to seeing how he gets involved with our playmaking too.

“The first two fixtures in the tournament have been disappointing. We know that we haven’t hit the heights that we can achieve as a group.

“Playing in France is always special and there should be a partisan atmosphere under the floodlights. We’ve just got to go out there and be bold in the way we play. We’ve got to be brave. We’ve got to start from the first whistle and we’ve got to have the mentality to win the game.”

Captain Connor Boyle – a try-scorer in each of his two appearances for the age-grade side – continues at openside flanker, with Heriot’s Charlie Jupp and Stirling County’s Bundy completing the back row.

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Scotland Under-20s team to face France at Stade du Hameau, Pau, in the Under-20s Six Nations on Friday 22 February (kick-off 8pm GMT/ 9pm local)

15. Matt Davidson (London Scottish)
14. Rory McMichael (Heriot’s)
13. Ollie Smith (Ayr)
12. Grant Hughes (Stirling County)
11. Jack Blain (Heriot’s)
10. Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)
9. Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains)

1. Murphy Walker (Stirling County)
2. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks)
3. Euan McLaren (Ayr)
4. Ewan Johnson (Racing 92)
5. Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)
6. Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s)
7. Connor Boyle (Watsonians) CAPTAIN
8. Ross Bundy (Stirling County)

Substitutes

16. Angus Fraser (Glasgow Hawks)
17. Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks)
18. Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
19. Jack Mann (Edinburgh Accies)
20. Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks)
21. Murray Scott (Watsonians)
22. Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears)
23. Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros)