TOM MARSHALL has been rewarded for his two-try performance in last week’s warm-up match victory over Old Glory DC by being handed the No 8 jersey for Scotland’s Junior World Championship opener against South Africa at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
The Newcastle Falcons youngster – who qualifies to play for Scotland through his Glasgow-born mother, Louise – was actually involved in the wider England training squad during the last Six Nations before accepting an invite to throw his hat in the ring north of the border during the build-up to this tournament.
There are two other changes to the starting XV from the side which played in the last Six Nations game against England three months ago. Marshall Sykes of Ayr, who missed the entire Six Nations with a knee injury, is selected at blindside flanker, while Grant Hughes of Stirling County gets the nod ahead of Robbie McCallum at inside centre.
Connor Boyle of Watsonians once again skippers the side, while Edinburgh Academy’s Rory Jackson will provide cover at hooker having belatedly joined up with the squad following the completion of his school exams.
“We open this year’s World Rugby U20 Championship against a tough and physical Springboks outfit, but we have selected an exciting side that has the ability to threaten any defence,” said head coach Carl Hogg. “As a squad, we’ve enjoyed a hard training week in Washington, as well as a pre-tournament game against Old Glory DC that will stand us in good stead leading into this week’s physical contest with South Africa.
“It’s really important that we get off to a good start in this year’s Championship, so it’s imperative that we play with real tempo in our game, but also make smart decisions on where we play the game.
“There is no doubt that South Africa will bring a physical approach with a strong set piece. We need to ensure that we contest at every opportunity.
“We know how tough a test we face, but we can’t wait for the challenge that awaits us in Rosario tomorrow morning.”
Scotland U20s (to play South Africa U20 at Racecourse Stadium, Rosario in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Tuesday 4 June – kick-off 2.30pm BST, 10.30am local time – streamed live on world.rugby/u20): Matt Davidson (London Scottish); Rory McMichael (Heriot’s), Cameron Anderson (Wasps), Grant Hughes (Stirling County), Jack Blain (Heriot’s); Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains); Murphy Walker (Stirling County), Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Euan McLaren (Ayr), Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), Marshall Sykes (Ayr), Connor Boyle (Watsonians), Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons).
Substitutes: Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy), Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Mak Wilson (Melrose), Ross Bundy (Stirling County), Jack Hill (Durham University), Kwagga van Niekerk (Lions), Murray Scott (Watsonians), Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks), Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), Ollie Smith (Ayr), Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians)