Bath Rugby Academy fly-half Adam Hastings will start for Scotland U20 in the Six Nations Championship match against Ireland this Friday at Donnybrook, Dublin (kick-off 7.35 pm).
Head coach John Dalziel has made four personnel changes for Scotland under-20s’ last game of the tournament.
Tom Galbraith will take on the captaincy in the absence of lock Scott Cummings, who has been recalled by pro-team Glasgow Warriors after leading the age-grade side to two wins in this year’s campaign.
BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy stage 3 player Galbraith is one of two changes to the backline. He moves from centre to fullback for the Championship finale.
Galbraith’s Melrose club-mate, George Taylor, is the only other change to the backline, as he gains promotion from the bench to don the number 12 shirt.
In the pack, Stephen Ainslie is set to make his starting debut for Scotland under-20, as he comes in to replace Cummings, while Boroughmuir’s Scott Burnside will make his second start in this year’s Championship at blindside flanker, with Andrew Davidson unavailable due to a concussion sustained against France.
One change in the front-row sees Callum Sheldon return at tighthead prop. On the bench, Hamish Bain and Lee Scott will make their Scotland under-20 debut if they take to the field.
Dalziel said: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Tom [Galbraith] and wish him all the best on taking on the captaincy for this match. He epitomises and embraces the team’s values and ethos, and we have no doubts he’ll lead by example this weekend.
“We know that everyone in this squad is capable of doing a job, and those who have been promoted to the starting XV, or gained a spot on the bench, will give their everything and fully deserve their call-up.”
Joining captain Galbraith in the back-three is try-scorer against France, Ben Robbins, and Darcy Graham, while Hutchinson continues at centre alongside Taylor.
Scrum-half Hugh Fraser joins Hastings in the half-backs. Mainstay Murray McCallum, who is the tournament’s second-top try-scorer, starts at loosehead prop alongside hooker Jake Kerr and Sheldon.
MacPhail scholar Callum Hunter-Hill joins Ainslie in the boiler-room, while Matt Smith – who has scored three tries from four games in this year’s campaign – and Ally Miller form the back-row alongside Burnside.
Dalziel continued: “The squad is looking forward to getting back on the road and facing up to the challenge Ireland will present at home.
“We were disappointed with the result against France, but there were a lot of positives to take from the performance and we’ll look to build on them for this Friday’s game.
“The mood in camp this week has been focused and determined, and we want to finish what has already been a successful campaign on a high and with a third win.”
Scotland U20 team to play Ireland U20
15. Tom Galbraith CAPTAIN (Melrose)
14. Darcy Graham (Hawick)
13. Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
12. George Taylor (Melrose)
11. Ben Robbins (Currie)
10. Adam Hastings (Bath Rugby)
9. Hugh Fraser (Heriot’s)
1. Murray McCallum (Heriot’s)
2. Jake Kerr (Boroughmuir)
3. Callum Sheldon (Leeds Beckett University)
4. Callum Hunter-Hill (Stirling County)
5. Stephen Ainslie (Currie)
6. Scott Burnside (Boroughmuir)
7. Matt Smith (Glasgow Hawks)
8. Ally Miller (Melrose)
16. Lewis Anderson (Ayr)
17. George Thornton (Bishop Burton College)
18. Adam Nicol (Stirling County)
19. Hamish Bain (Currie)
20. Lee Scott (Ayr)
21. Ruaridh Dawson (Newcastle Falcons)
22. Robbie Nairn (Harlequins)
23. Ruairi Howarth (Gala)