SCOTLAND UNDER-20s will step up their preparation for next month’s Junior World Championship in Argentina by taking on American start-up franchise Old Gory DC in Washington tonight [7pm local time/midnight GMT], with Hawick hooker Callum Renwick and Durham University back-row Jack Hill both set to get game time having been called up in place of injured duo Angus Fraser and Jack Mann.
Renwick has not been added to the squad for the World Championship. At the moment he is providing cover for Edinburgh Academy and Scotland Under-18s hooker Rory Jackson, who is sitting his school exams.
Jackson was involved in U18 Six Nations festival in North Wales last season, and was involved when the Under-19s played Wales and Australia in December. This will be his first involvement at Under-20s level.
Hill has previously played for Scotland at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level, as well as Sale Sharks Under-18s. Having impressed in those Under-19s games against Wales and Australia at the tail-end of last year, he was named in the 2019 U20 Six Nations squad but didn’t manage to get any game time.
Tonight’s match will be the first public demonstration of the partnership between Old Glory and the SRU (who are minority shareholders in the club) in action, and is part of a week-long training camp in the US capital for Carl Hogg’s age-grade side before they head south to Rosario where they will open their World Championship campaign against South Africa on 4th June.
If nothing else, it should be a real test of the team’s physical robustness. Old Glory’s first match of this ‘Exhibition Season’, ahead of joining an expanded 12-team American Major League Rugby competition from February 2020, was against Irish club side Shannon a week past Sunday. What they lacked in rugby organisation, technique and appreciation of the rules in that game, was compensated for by bulk and wholehearted commitment.
With the wind at their back, Shannon raced into an 8-26 half-time lead, but the Irishmen ran out of steam in the 30° heat after the break, and Old Glory capitalised to claw it back to a 22-26 final scoreline.
Hogg has not named a starting XV for this match, with a 26-man squad scheduled to get game time at some point during the 80 minutes.
Scotland Under-20s (versus Old Glory DC at Cardinal Stadium; kick-off: 7pm local time/midnight GMT) –
Forwards: Murphy Walker (Stirling County), Mak Wilson (Melrose), Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), Callum Renwick (Hawick), Euan McLaren (Ayr), Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), Ross Bundy (Stirling County), Kwagga Van Niekerk (Lions), Jack Hill (Durham University), Connor Boyle (Watsonians),Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks), Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons).
Backs: Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains), Murray Scott (Watsonians), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), Rory McMichael (Heriot’s), Grant Hughes (Stirling County), Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), Cameron Anderson (Wasps), Jack Blain (Heriot’s), Lomond McPherson (Watsonians), Matt Davidson (London Scottish), Ollie Smith (Ayr).