THE Scotland Under-19s side to play Australian Schools/Under-18s at Oriam tomorrow afternoon has been named by head coach Ben Cairns. The tourists were comfortable winners over a Scotland Development XV at the same venue on Wednesday, but will have a far sterner test in this encounter against a side which has had a lot more time together and have already had a hit-out against Wales Under-19s last weekend.
Hawick centre Andrew Mitchell is the only new face in the back-line from last week’s starting XV; while there is four personnel and one positional change in the pack, including a new look back-row, with the experienced trio of Melrose’s Rory Darge, Watsonians’ Connor Boyle and South African Kwagga van Nierkerk dropping out to be replaced by James Timony of Hartpury College, Gavin Wilson of Glasgow Hawks and Jack Hill (moving from the second-row) of Durham University.
“While the squad remains largely unchanged from that which took to the field in our training match versus Wales U19 last Sunday, it was always our intention to mix the squad up a bit to give a good group of players exposure to international rugby,” said Cairns.
“Kieran Watt, James Timony, Cameron Brown and Chris Bell come into the squad and I’m sure they will be looking forward to their first involvement at this level.
“The Under-19s programme is all about developing our players at international level and this fixture provides a unique opportunity to test ourselves against a quality Southern Hemisphere side.
“They’ve had a successful tour so far with a winning record in Ireland and we are really looking forward to the challenge they will provide.
“Playing the match indoors at Oriam certainly adds to the occasion and we are hopeful there will be a good crowd who come along to support both sides.”
The game will give the Scottish players an opportunity to put their hands up for selection for the Scotland Under-20s squad – who will convene in camp in January ahead of the Under-20 Six Nations championship.
Scotland U19 team to play Australian Schools at Oriam tomorrow (Sunday, kick-off 2pm): Oli Smith (Ayr); Jack Blain (Heriot’s), Andrew Mitchell (Hawick), Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), Charlie Hudson (Loughborough University); Nathan Chamberlain (Hartpury College / Bristol Bears), Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains); Lachlan Mackay (Stirling County), Euan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Alex Pleasants (Henley College / Wasps), Kieran Watt (Watsonians), Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), James Timony (Hartpury College), Gavin Wilson (Glasgow Hawks), Jack Hill (Durham University). Replacements: Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy / Edinburgh Accies), Sean Fisher (Falkirk), Mak Wilson (Melrose), James Barker (Leeds Beckett University), Cameron Brown (Kelso), Kristin Kay (Glasgow Hawks), Christopher Bell (Merchiston Castle School / Watsonians), Matt Stewart (Biggar).