SCOTLAND UNDER-20s head coach Sean Lineen has made three changes to his starting XV for Friday night’s crucial Six Nations round three clash against Italy, with flanker Gregor Brown, scrum-half Kyle McGhie and winger Rufus McLean – all of whom are attached to Boroughmuir Bears Super6 team – getting the nod. Roan Frostwick, Jack Hill and Harry Paterson drop to the bench.
Brown and McGhie were among the replacements against England two weeks ago, while McLean was unavailable due to a concussion.
Like the senior team, the age-grade side are winless in the championship so far, but were competitive enough to pick up losing bonus points against both Ireland and England. Indeed, the young Scots looked capable of winning both those matches, with a bit more accuracy and composure at key moments. Lineen says he is confident that his team can take the next step to pick up a win this weekend, although it is by no means a foregone conclusion against an Italian side who have already beaten Wales away in round one.
“This is a big opportunity for us. Italy have improved over the years, they’ve got good academies and a lot of players,” said Lineen. “I’ve been really impressed with how our squad have rolled their sleeves up. It has been a pretty challenging week because of the weather but we need to go out there and do our talking on the pitch.
“We’ve got a really tight group here with talented individuals and we need to teach them to get to the next level. I thought some of our defence against England last time out was outstanding. We know we should have won that game and the players have taken that on board.
”I want them to get across that line and would love for them to experience a win in the Scottish jersey.”
Scotland U20s (v Italy on Friday, at Stadio Mirabello, kick-off 6pm GMT): Ollie Smith (Ayrshire Bulls); Rufus McLean (Boroughmuir Bears), Matthew Currie (Watsonians Rugby), Robbie McCallum (Boroughmuir Bears), Jacob Henry (Southern Knights); Nathan Chamberlain (Hartpury College/Bristol Bears), Kyle McGhie (Boroughmuir Bears) ; Thomas Lambert (Sydney University), Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Mak Wilson (Southern Knights), Kieran Watt (Watsonians Rugby), Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), Gregor Brown (Boroughmuir Bears), Connor Boyle (Watsonians Rugby), Rory Darge (Southern Knights)©.
Substitutes: Rory Jackson (Watsonians Rugby), George Breese (Stirling Wolves), Alex Maxwell (Stourbridge), Jamie Campbell (Biggar), Jack Hill (Durham University), Roan Frostwick (Watsonians Rugby), Cameron Scott (Boroughmuir Bears), Harry Paterson (Heriot’s Rugby).