Scotland U20 head coach John Dalziel has named Bath Rugby Academy fly-half Adam Hastings in his 28-man squad to travel to Manchester for the 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Championship (Tuesday 7th-Saturday 25th June).
Dalziel said: “We’ve selected a group which contains a lot of experience, but have also added a fresh dimension with some young and exciting talents who have worked hard and fully deserve their shot.
“There was a real buzz around this group during the Six Nations, both internally and externally. The squad was hungry for success, and we want to maintain that drive and focus in the World Championship.
“We are confident that this group can perform and win in a high pressure environment.”
A strong core of the chosen group for this year’s event– 13 of the 28 selected – were named to travel to last year’s event in Italy, where Scotland achieved their highest ever finish of eighth. BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players also have a strong presence, with 16 members of the squad affiliated to Scottish Rugby’s primary development programme in the 2015/16 season.
Dalziel continued: “The majority of players are used to a professional rugby environment which gives us a solid base to build from, and limits the transition period into our set-up. “More than half of the squad are [BT Sport Scottish Rugby] Academy players, and we’ve already seen the strides players are taking with the introduction of this development programme.”
Scotland under-20 will meet two of the sides they defeated in this year’s Six Nations – England and Italy – in the pool stages of the competition, following their opening match of the tournament against Australia at the AJ Bell Stadium.
This Friday (13th May), the squad will travel to Font Romeu in France – where the senior national team trained prior to their quarter-final success in the recent Rugby World Cup – for a week of warm weather, high-altitude training and a match against their French counterparts.
Scotland under-20 pool fixtures in the 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Championship
Tuesday 7 June: Scotland v Australia, AJ Bell Stadium (kick-off 5.30pm)
Saturday 11 June: Scotland v England, Manchester City Academy Stadium (kick-off 6pm)
Wednesday 15 June: Scotland v Italy, Manchester City Academy Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm)
Scotland under-20 squad for the 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester
Props: Dan Elkington (Melrose) Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) Murray McCallum (Heriot’s)** Callum Sheldon (Leeds Beckett University) George Thornton (Bishop Burton College)
Hookers: Lewis Anderson (Ayr) Jake Kerr (Boroughmuir)** Locks Stephen Ainslie (Currie)* Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors)** Andrew Davidson (captain, Glasgow Hawks)** Callum Hunter-Hill (Stirling County)**
Back rows: Scott Burnside (Boroughmuir)* Ally Miller (Melrose)** Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) Matt Smith (Glasgow Hawks)** Lewis Wynne (Stirling County)**
Half-backs: Hugh Fraser (Heriot’s)** Adam Hastings (Bath Rugby) Charlie Shiel (Currie)* Centres Tom Galbraith (Melrose)** Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) Matt McPhillips (Currie) George Taylor (Melrose)**
Back three: Darcy Graham (Hawick)* Cameron Gray (Currie) Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) Robbie Nairn (Harlequins) Ben Robbins (Currie)**