SOUTH AFRICAN prop Nathan McBeth has travelled to Scotland to join up with the national Under-20 squad, with a view to representing Stevie Scott’s side at the Junior World Championship later this year.
McBeth, who turns 20 in June, is capped by South Africa Schools, and is tied to the Golden Lions union by a long-term (three-year) contract. He qualifies for Scotland through his paternal family.
The loose-head is set to return to South Africa later this year to see out his contract, and is thought to be keeping his options open with regards to his international eligibility.
As of 1st January, unions may no longer nominate their Under-20 side as their second representative team, meaning players capped at Under-20 level are not tied to that nation.
The 12-team JWC takes place in France this year, during May and June, with Scotland facing England, Italy and Argentina in Pool B.
The Lions coaching staff believe McBeth, who stands at 189cm tall and weighs 109kg, is capable of excelling in Super Rugby, and has the potential to become a Springbok.
It is understood that Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, tried – and failed – personally to convince the player to remain in South Africa and represent the South African Under-20s.
McBeth is a product of the famous Monument High School, in the Gauteng Province. The school has produced several Springboks, including World Cup-winners Brendan Venter (the coach credited with Italy’s notorious ‘no-ruck’ tactic used to great effect against England in last year’s Six Nations) and Jacque Fourie, as well as current internationals Willem Alberts and Jaco Taute, and Edinburgh fly-half Jaco van der Walt.
McBeth is expected to take part in this evening’s training match [Tuesday] between Scotland Under-20 and the Scotland Club XV on the back pitches at Murrayfield, which kicks-off at 7.30pm.