SCOTLAND under-20s head coach Kenny Murray has made three personnel changes to his starting side to face France in Agen on Friday night.
Two of the changes are enforced by injury with Moby Ogunlaja coming in at tight-head prop (having played 71 minutes there against Wales last time out after Callum Norrie suffered a shoulder injury which has ruled him out for the remainder of this Six Nations campaign) and Finlay Burgess replacing Ben Afshar (who has a hand injury which may also mean he may not play again in this championship) at scrum-half. Murray expects both Norrie and Afshar to be back for the Junior World Trophy in the summer.
Meanwhile, Jonny Morris has recovered from a concussion he suffered against England to line-up at No 8 in place of Sam Derrick, who is rotated out of the squad altogether. “Sam has been involved in the first few games so we want to have a look at some other guys we’ve got on the programme, which is why Ewan Guy comes onto the bench alongside Jonny Rutherford,” explained Murray.
France scraped a 27-28 away win against Italy in round one of this Six Nations before going down 33-31 away to Ireland in round two. This is their first home game of the campaign and a big and vocal crowd is expected.
“I think it will be close to a full-house so we know it is going to be a massive game in terms of crowd and atmosphere,” said Murray. “We trained indoors at Oriam on Monday and managed to get crowd noise pumped in over the tanoy for about 40 minutes of the session to try to recreate the kind of environment we are going to face on Friday night.
“The boys are obviously buoyant after a win last time out and they are looking forward to getting back out there,” he added. “We know how difficult it is going to be, but it is a great opportunity for us to have a go with the pressure off.
“France pose an intense and highly physical game, something we must also do if we want another win this week.”
Scotland have never previously tasted success in this fixture, with the closest they have ever got being in 2010 when they managed an 8-8 draw in Inverness.
Scotland U20s (v France at Stade Armandie, Agen, on Friday @ 8pm): D King; B Evans, D Munn (co-captain), K Yule, W Robinson; R Simpson, F Burgess; C Davidson, C Tait, M Ogunlaja, J Parkinson, R Hart, L McConnell (co-captain), R Brown, J Morris. Substitutes: J Blyth-Lafferty, M Surry, R Deans, E Erskine, J Rutherford, E Guy, C Clare, G Gwynn.