Scotland U20 Team Named For First World Rugby U20 Trophy Clash

Scotland U20 Team Named For First World Rugby U20 Trophy Clash

Scotland U20 Head Coach Kenny Murray has confirmed his team to face Zimbabwe U20 this Saturday in their first round of the World Rugby U20 Trophy. 

This match is the first of four that the young Scots will encounter in Nairobi. The team will also be up against USA U20 and Uruguay U20 over the next two weeks, before the finals which take place on Sunday 30 July.

Out of the 23-man squad, 18 made appearances for their clubs during the 2023 FOSROC Super Series Sprint earlier this year. In addition, six of these players made appearances for either the Glasgow Warriors ‘A’ or Edinburgh Rugby ‘A’ teams during the first three rounds of the competition.

The forward pack only sees two changes from the eight that started in the team’s preparatory match against Spain U20 at the end of last month. Craig Davidson and Callum Norrie will take on the prop positions, this time joined by Jerry Blyth-Lafferty at hooker. The powerful pairing of Eddie Erskine and Jake Parkinson will once again take charge in the second row. Co-Captain Liam McConnell begins the back row, joined by Jonny Smith on the open side and Sam Derrick at Number 8.

Co-Captain Ben Afshar will start at scrum-half, this time joined by Andrew McLean who will be making his first start for Scotland U20

A strong start from the back five in their match against Spain earns them their position in the starting fifteen. Geordie Gwynn and Finn Douglas will don the wing jerseys, joined by Kerr Yule and Ben Salmon taking on the centre positions. Dan King completes the starting fifteen at full-back.

There is a five-three split to make up the replacements bench with Corey Tait, Max Surry, Oliver Minnis, Ruaraidh Hart and Jonny Morris in place to bolster the forwards, along with Finlay Burgess, Findlay Thomson and Matt Reid providing cover for the backs.

Head Coach Kenny Murray said: “Now that we’ve arrived in Nairobi, we are really looking forward to kicking off the tournament.

“We have four exciting matches ahead of us, all of which pose their own challenges and opportunities.

“Zimbabwe will be a tough opponent. They’re coming off the back of a very impressive win against Kenya in the Rugby Africa Barthés U20 Trophy in April, so they’ll be wanting to continue this form going into the tournament.

“We took many learnings away from our match against Spain last month – both positives and things we needed to improve on. The guys have been training and preparing well, but we must put this into practice to get a good result.”

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