Blair Kinghorn returns to Scotland Under-20 squad for Junior World Cup

Blair Kinghorn scores for Scotland Under-20 against Italy in 2016 Junior World Cup pool match at Manchester City Academy Arena Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

BLAIR KINGHORN will play in his third Junior World Cup campaign in Georgia between 31st May and 18th June after being named this afternoon in the 28 player Scotland Under-20 squad named for the tournament.

The utility-back was not involved in the Scottish age-grade team’s Six Nations campaign because he was required by Edinburgh, but has been brought back into the fold as John Dalziel’s side look to improve on last year’s eighth place finish at the 2016 Junior World Cup in Manchester. A relatively experienced team got off to a flying start in that tournament when they defeated Australia for the first time, but suffered through injuries as the month progressed.

Boroughmuir prop Ross Dunbar, Newcastle Falcons back-row Archie Erskine and Currie back-row Thomas Gordon are all in line to make their international debuts at Under-20 level, while Melrose centre Patrick Anderson and Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Ruaridh Dawson of have been recalled to the set-up after missing out on the Six Nations.

Currie centre Cameron Hutchinson, Stirling County centre Craig Pringle and  Stirling County wing Logan Trotter all miss out through injury, but Melrose winger Ross McCann, who has been sidelined since the end of February with a hand injury is back.

Callum Hunter-Hill captained the side during this season’s Six Nations but Dalziel has not yet named his leader for the World Cup campaign.

“We’ve picked a well-rounded squad, which has grown together through their experience of the recent Six Nations. The team showed that they are capable of producing some very good rugby but need to be more consistent. Finding that 80-minute performance will be key to our overall showing in the World Championship,” said Dalziel.

“Selection is only the start for these players, and we have a lot of work to do between now and the competition. In order to get the most out of the tournament, we need full commitment from everyone given the opportunity to don the shirt.”

“We’re up against three quality sides in our pool, with the games made even more difficult taking into account the tight turnaround.

“The group has learned from their experience on this stage previously, and we’ll look to take that understanding into this year’s tournament.

“The competition will be play a vital part in these players’ development in the long-term and we’re excited to get started in a few weeks’ time.”

Scotland Under-20 Squad for Junior World Cup campaign in Georgia–

Prop –

Fergus Bradbury (Stirling County)

Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir)

Adam Nicol (Stirling County)

George Thornton (Bishop Burton College)

Daniel Winning (Boroughmuir)

Hooker –

Fraser Renwick (Hawick)

Robbie Smith (Ayr)

Lock –

Hamish Bain (Currie)

Alex Craig (Gloucester)

Callum Hunter-Hill (Stirling County)

Back-row –

Luke Crosbie (Currie)

Tom Dodd (Worcester)

Archie Erskine (Newcastle Falcons)

Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)

Bruce Flockhart (Glasgow Hawks)

Thomas Gordon (Currie)**

Scrum-half –

Ruaridh Dawson (Newcastle Falcons)

Charlie Shiel (Currie)

Andrew Simmers (Heriot’s)

Stand-off –

Josh Henderson (Glasgow Hawks)

Centre –

Patrick Anderson (Melrose)

Connor Eastgate (Wasps)

Stafford McDowall (Ayr)

Back three –

Darcy Graham (Hawick)

Robert Kay (Heriot’s)

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby)

Ross McCann (Melrose)

Robbie Nairn (Harlequins)

 

Scotland Under-20 pool fixtures in the World Rugby U20 Championship –

Wednesday 31 May: New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20, Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi (kick-off 1pm local/10am BST)

Sunday 4 June: Ireland U20 v Scotland U20, Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi (kick-off 1pm local/10am BST)

Thursday 8 June: Scotland U20 v Italy U20, Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi (kick-off 1pm local/10am BST)

About David Barnes 2973 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.