Scotland U20 head coach Carl Hogg has selected a 28-man squad that he hopes will be able to meet the “very different challenges” presented to his team at the World Rugby U20 Championship 2019 in Argentina.
Props Euan McLaren and Murphy Walker, second-row Ewan Johnson, back-row Marshall Sykes and fly-half Ross Thompson (pictured) were all present at last year's tournament in France and are joined 12 months on by U20 newcomers tight-head prop Mak Wilson, back-row Tom Marshall and wing Lomond McPherson.
Youth and experience
Scotland head into this year’s World Rugby U20 Championship having finished bottom of the Six Nations U20 table with one win to their name, 27-20 against Wales.
"This year’s squad includes a good mix of youth and experience, with a large number of the group having performed together during the recent Six Nations campaign,” said Hogg.
“The squad made huge strides over the course of the Six Nations and eventually adapted to the pace and intensity of international age-grade rugby.
"We were at our best when we played with real speed, but also made intelligent decisions with and without the ball. The highlight was clearly the performance against Wales at Meggetland, which provides us with a real template for success.
“Preparations are going really well, and we have a short camp at St Andrews University before heading out to Washington for a warm-up game against Old Glory DC.”
Scotland have been drawn in Pool C alongside former winners New Zealand and South Africa as well as Georgia who beat them last time out in France, 39-31, in the ninth-place play-off.
“We know how tough a task we face in next month’s tournament. We have been being drawn in a group with the rugby powerhouses of South Africa and New Zealand, as well as a really strong Georgian outfit," recognised Hogg.
“Each of these teams will present very different challenges, but we believe we have the game plan and players capable of adapting to find a winning way.”
Scotland will have a short get-together at St Andrews University before fine-tuning their preparations for the U20 Championship in Argentina with a week-long training camp in Washington DC in the United States, which will include a warm-up fixture against Old Glory DC on 27 May, eight days out from their opening encounter against South Africa at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium on Tuesday 4 June.
Forwards: Andrew Nimmo, Angus Fraser, Cristen Van Niekerk, Cameron Henderson, Connor Boyle, Ewan Ashman, Euan McLaren, Ewan Johnson, Jack Mann, Mak Wilson, Marshall Sykes, Murphy Walker, Ross Bundy, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Tom Marshall, Will Hurd.
Backs: Cameron Anderson, Grant Hughes, Jack Blain, Lomond McPherson, Ollie Smith, Matt Davidson, Murray Scott, Nathan Chamberlain, Roan Frostwick, Robbie McCallum, Ross Thompson.