Following camps in October and November, Scotland’s under-20 squad regroup early in the new year (6 to 9 January) as preparations intensify for their age grade 6 Nations in February and March and on to June’s IRB Junior World Championship.
The reduced squad of 32 includes a number of players who recently formed part of an under-19 team that took on Australian Schools at Myreside earlier this month, including try scorer Magnus Bradbury alongside his fellow Edinburgh Rugby EDP Neil Irvine-Hess and Glasgow Warriors EDP Gavin Lowe.
Head coach Sean Lineen said: "The last camp in mid November gave the players a taste of international rugby as they trained with the Scotland team. It proved a real test of their skill levels and living with the fast pace of international training. I was delighted with the concentration and confidence levels.
"The players who competed for Scotland under-19s stepped up to the mark physically against Australian Schools. This game was a huge physical test against an international side that had been on the road for three weeks. The forwards, especially, didn't take a backward step and you could see they enjoyed the fierce nature of the battle.
"This first January camp is very important as we prepare for Ireland. It is a particularly challenging camp where the contact work is accelerated and we play against a combined Melrose/Heriot's team at Murrayfield on 7 January.
“With the reduced number of players the coaches work closely with the players in improving individual skills and making sure the understanding is there in terms of game-plan."
The Scots come together again at the end of the month, in a final selection and with a game against a Scotland Club XV side, prior to taking on Ireland away in Athlone on Friday 31 January in their opening Six Nations fixture of 2014.
Scotland under-20 January camp squad
Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *
Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors)
Ben Cooper (Boroughmuir)
Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)
Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Cameron Fenton (Strathallan/Howe of Fife) *
Ross Graham (Hawick)
George Horne (Currie) *
Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *
Blair Hutchison (Loughborough University/Melrose)
Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby)
Sam James (London Wasps)
Cameron Jeffery (Bristol University)
Joe Jones (College Rovers under-20/Durban Sharks under-19)
Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) **
Murdo McAndrew (Clermont Auvergne)
James Malcolm (Ayr) *
Shaun MacDonald (Stirling County)
Sam Pecquer (Edinburgh Accies)
D’arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors) **
Angus Rennie (Aberdeen Grammar) *
Iain Sexton (Edinburgh University)
Henry Slater (Durham University)
Tommy Spinks (London Scottish)
Richard Taylor (Loretto/Melrose) *
Sam Thomson (Worcester Students)
Angus Wallace (Boroughmuir)
Ben Vellacott (Worcester Warriors/Hartpury)
Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons)
Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies)
* member of Scottish Rugby’s Regional Academy supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport
** Elite Development Player 2013/14
Under-20 6 Nations Championship 2014
Friday 31 January Ireland v Scotland (kick-off 7.05pm) Dubarry Park, Athlone
Friday 7 February Scotland under-20 v England under-20, Netherdale, Galashiels (kick-off 7.30pm), admission free for concessions
Italy v Scotland (details tbc)
Friday 7 March Scotland under-20 v France under-20, Netherdale, Galashiels (kick-off 7.30pm) admission free for concessions
Friday 14 March Wales v Scotland (kick-off 7.00pm, S4C) Eirias, Colwyn Bay (£15 seated, £10 terrace / £5 concession)
IRB Junior World Championship 2014, New Zealand
Monday 2 June, South Africa v Scotland, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, kick-off 3.35pm (local)
Friday 6 June, Scotland v Samoa, Pukekohe Stadium, kick-off 3.35pm (local)
Wednesday 10 June, New Zealand v Scotland, Pukekohe Stadium, kick-off 7.35pm (local)
Further fixtures on Sunday 15 June and Friday 20 June are dependent on results