Corey can’t Tait for more after first win
The driving wind on a cold Friday night at Scotstoun made for tricky conditions for lineout throws. That was what made it all the more impressive as Corey Tait picked out Ruaraidh Hart to set up the driving maul for Scotland U20’s opening try, as they beat Wales 18-17 in Glasgow.
Corey has made an impressive start to his U20 international career, playing his part in a narrow defeat away to England before the win against Wales last time out. And the Hawick youngster has been enjoying every minute of it.
“It’s an honour to be playing for my country and national side and follow on from all the boys who came before. Wearing that thistle is a massive thing for everyone.”
Tait reflects on the win against Wales with great pride, a first win for Scotland U20 since March 2020 against the same opposition.
“It was a really good morale boost for the boys. We kind of felt that we played well against England and if we didn’t play well against Wales, it would be for nothing. So it was good to back that up and we look to back that up again against France.
“The crowd were behind us a lot and I think a lot of boys felt it in that game. It is great to be able to hear them in the stands from the pitch cheering us on and that helped us get the win.
“The England game was frustrating. There was positives and negatives in it. We didn’t win which was frustrating but there were glimmers of it. We took that confidence last week into the game against Wales and we got the win which was something we couldn’t do against England, so we are pushing forward and hope to beat France this week.”
Corey doesn’t have far to search for inspiration. His brother Rhys captained the U20 side in 2022, and recently made a loan move from Glasgow Warriors to Doncaster Knights, where he made his debut and scored two tries at the weekend.
“We have good chats, and we are pretty close. He has got really good knowledge and I bounce ideas off him and we critique each other’s games so we can be honest with each other and push each other to be better.”
There is a mixture of fresh and returning faces in the U20 squad, epitomised by Co-Captains Duncan Munn and Liam McConnell. Duncan was a mainstay of last year’s side, whilst Liam comes in having captained Scotland U18 in 2022. Corey has noticed the togetherness of the squad has helped to drive them forward.
“Duncan and Liam have been good leaders and pushing the boys. They’ve been helping all the boys settle in and are pushing us in training which is a good thing to help us improve.
“We were really proud of ourselves after the Wales game and being together is what we like to do, just being there for each other through everything. It is good that is kind of showing, when we have pushed massively its good for the squad.”
Leading up to the Under-20 Six Nations, Corey featured for Boroughmuir Bears in the 2022 FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series and Championship, scoring four tries in his first seven appearances. The former Hawick RFC hooker has enjoyed featuring for a Bears side that made it to the semi-finals of the 2022 Championship.
“I really like the nature of the competition. I have been fortunate enough to get a lot of game time even with the injuries that I have had, and it has been really good to play at that high level and just prepare us for a lot of the boys coming in.
“Exploring that higher level and physicality and the pace of the game has been a great experience. It is a lot quicker than other games.”
Looking ahead, Scotland U20 travel to Agen on Friday night to take on France U20. Getting the first win has bred Corey’s belief that anything is possible.
“We are looking forward to it. We have taken confidence off the first two appearances against Wales and England. We know France are going to be a big and physical team so it’s just preparing ourselves for that. The set piece is a major weapon, so it is just trying to target that.
“We prepared for the Under-20 Six Nations a little bit earlier this year which gave us a lot more confidence. We took a lot of confidence going into this year and we just knew it was about getting that win. We need to back it up until we get to the end of the campaign.”