Scotland Under-20s name three debutants for Wales clash

Centre Andy Stirrat in action for Scotland against Wales in this year's Under-20s Six Nations. Image: © Craig Watson.

SCOTLAND UNDER-20s coach Kenny Murray has handed debuts to three players for tomorrow’s match against Wales Under-20s, the first outing for both teams in the Six Nations Under-20s Summer Series in Italy. Blindside flanker Liam McConnell and wingers Ryan Daley and Kerr Johnston are the three who will win their first caps at this level at the Stadio di Monigo in Treviso.

Rhys Tait captains the team from the back row, while Murray Redpath and Christian Townsend continue their partnership at half-back and centres Andy Stirrat and Duncan Munn link up for the fifth match in a row. Four substitutes – Iain Carmichael, Ben Afshar, Gabe Jones and Euan Groenewald – could all make their debuts off the bench.

“We have settled in well in Italy and preparations for this game have been great,” Murray said this afternoon. “A large number of the players have just been involved in the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series and got good game time, which is excellent for us.

“Liam, Kerr and Ryan have been excellent since they have joined up with our group, and they thoroughly deserve to make their debuts this weekend. There is a good mix of fresh faces and experience, and having Andy and Duncan starting their fifth game in a row together at centre will give us a sense of familiarity.

“Our game against Wales in the Six Nations was close. We were right in it until near the end. So we hope to be competitive again and this time go that step further.”

Scotland’s other games in Pool B will be against hosts Italy next Thursday then against Georgia on Wednesday 6 July. Pool A consists of England, France, South Africa and Ireland.

After the pool stage, the winners of A and B will then play each other, second will play second and so on in the cross-pool matches on Tuesday 12.

All games will be streamed on the Six Nations U20 YouTube channel, while Scotland’s matches will also be streamed on the Scottish Rugby website.

Scotland Under-20s (v Wales Under-20s in the Six Nations U20 Summer Series, Stadio di Monigo, Treviso, Saturday 4pm British time): K Clark (Southern Knights); K  Johnston (Gala), D Munn (Boroughmuir Bears), A Stirrat (Ayrshire Bulls), R Daley (Watsonians); C Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors), M Redpath (Southern Knights/Newcastle University); A Rogers (Ayrshire Bulls), G Hiddleston (Stirling County), C Norrie (Stirling County/Strathallan School), J Taylor (Ealing Trailfinders), M Williamson (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), L McConnell (Boroughmuir Bears), R Tait (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors, captain), O Leatherbarrow (Exeter Chiefs). Substitutes: P  Harrison (Watsonians/Edinburgh), I Carmichael (Boroughmuir Bears), G Scougall (Watsonians), J Spurway (Stirling County/Durham University), T Brown (Ayrshire Bulls), B Afshar (Southern Knights), E Cunningham (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), G Jones (Brunel University/Ealing Trailfinders), M Deehan (Newcastle Falcons), E Groenewald (University of Pretoria), B Salmon (Stirling County).

Wales U20s: C Winnett (Cardiff); O Andrew (Dragons), M  Grady (Cardiff),
J Hawkins (Ospreys, captain), H Houston (Ospreys); D Edwards (Ospreys), C Hope (Dragons); R Barratt (Cardiff), E Daniel (Cardiff), N Evans (Cardiff), C Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs), D Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs), R Woodman (Dragons), E Fackrell (Cardiff), B Williams (Ospreys). Substitutes: O Burrows (Exeter Chiefs), C Jones (Ospreys), A Williams (Dragons), M Martin (Cardiff), M Morse (Ospreys),
M Lloyd (Dragons), J Phillips (Scarlets), B Bradley (Harlequins), E Fackrell (Ospreys),
C Salmon (Scarlets), J Westwood (Dragons).

About Stuart Bathgate 1131 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

7 Comments

  1. Don’t understand the selection at all or the spin being placed upon this selection by players playing an odd Super 6 game in the run up. Let’s be clear about this nearly all players selected for the 20’s have again only made bit part appearances in Super 6 with the majority having played less than 50% of the Super 6 game time available to them.
    The Super 6 started promisingly from the perspective of U20 player exposure however quickly reverted to type at the business end ( about half way through) where trophies began to be on the line – the U20 representation dropped off in most franchises where they had better options available to them apart from possibly the Knights who did continue to play a lot of younger players – this unfortunately was as much out of necessity as anything else…
    Why are the same players being picked again for this U20 tournament ,they had a good opportunity in the last 6 nations and it was highlighted then that we were badly short of depth, form or options in many positions , so a few months on we again start with the same combinations. There are already comments in this forum about the benefit of having a “name” which I would agree with , it undoubtedly in Scotland opens doors that others of similar ability cannot get through. We need to increase our playing pool and yet again this 20’s selection does not achieve that by playing the majority of players that had already been involved and won’t be eligible for next seasons U2O Six nations – where is the logic in this , where is the fairness in this ??
    It doesn’t bode well for next year when Scotland will only have a handful of players with previous exposure at this level and there will be the need to blood a current U18 / U19 group of players that had lost an important two years rugby development due to Covid and particularly in the case of the current U19 crop of players that have had little or no development at either district or international level.
    We cannot continue to restrict representative opportunities to Academy players or Super 6 players , that narrows the playing pool far too much, there has to be a mechanism of developing and incorporating player from a wider catchment – players in the top leagues not involved with Academy …
    I am fairly certain that an U20 team selected from the top 3 leagues in Scotland could give this current U20 squad a good game so why does it appear these players are being ignored. If it’s not that then at least explain to Scottish supporters why so many decent players are not getting a look in to what is a currently very average U20 squad.

    12
    • Well said totally agree if you’ve a name you’re halfway there.
      Late developing Laddies in lower leagues never get a look in .
      There must be a reason .
      Maybe someone can give answer .I can’t see any other than all these yes men development officers are not doing what’s on their job description ( ie ) developing players from all of Scotland .

      Halftime in this match .
      Townsend & Redpath are having a shocker of a game …will they be changed .I wait to see with interest

      10
      • They were .
        as well as a lot of others .
        All have made a difference .but will they get to start next time?
        Will Kenny have the bottle to shake it up .

        10
  2. Good luck to the lads and hope that they show up well in their group, having just watched England-SA and Ireland-France on the 6N Utube channel, the standard and the sizes of some of the U20 indicates that if we progress in the group we will have our work cut out in any of the secondary fixtures.

  3. Will Townsend & Redpath play all the games again I wonder ?.
    Hope coach doesn’t have fear from above and gives others a fair crack with game time this time round .
    Cos it didn’t happen last time

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    • We all know that there will be better scottish qualified players than those selected as that has always been the way in Scottish Rugby. It is a closed shop and the SRU/Strathallan School link guarantees you a professional contract and international caps.

      11
      1
      • Alan Mann.
        Happened for years .
        If you come from certain places or are related to certain people
        It opens doors in Scottish rugby to the detriment of others just as good if not better but never get the chances.

        10
        1

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