Match Guide | Scotland U20 v England U20

  • Head Coach Welcome

    We have reached the third match of the championship, and our final home game of the competition, as we welcome England to Hive Stadium in the 2024 Under-20 Six Nations.

    Again, we played well in large parts of the game against a strong France team, and there were positives from that 14-29 defeat, especially the manner in which the players stayed in the fight until the last knockings of the game.

    Pictured: Callum Norrie on the charge against France at Hive Stadium two weeks ago.

    We will need to bring more of the same and display consistency in delivering a performance to counter the threats England will pose us. It’s a fixture that doesn’t take a great deal of external inspiration and the squad are well aware of what it means to give their all against England.

    I would like to thank those heading along to Hive Stadium for the game. We anticipate a healthy crowd and the players genuinely appreciate the support given to them.

    Here’s to a good game,

    Kenny Murray,

    Head coach, Scotland U20

  • Rise through the ranks: Ewan Ashman

    We sat down with Scotland star Ewan Ashman to discuss his journey to becoming a full Scotland cap

    How important was coming through U20s for your rugby journey?

    Huge, I think it was a turning point for me. Those 20s years are huge for confidence and stuff. You’re not playing so much rugby at your club, you’re still young, so to get that exposure and those minutes – travelling over to Argentina and a couple of six nations – was massive for me.

    I think even just being in that environment, having different coaches looking at you, those minutes completely changed me and my confidence as a player. I brought that back to Sale and it was an upwards trajectory from there – that’s where it started.

    Do you feel it motivated you to want more, to get more experience?

    Yeah, definitely. I probably didn’t require too much more motivation having been involved in U16, U17, U19, U20 but before that as a young kid I wanted to play for Scotland so it probably reaffirmed it more than anything. This is what I want to do, travel around playing rugby with my mates, representing Scotland and represent the thistle. It definitely reaffirmed that and showed my why I loved it so much.

    With Scotland U20 playing the night before the Guinness Six Nations at Hive Stadium, how big will that be for the players?

    You speak to anybody who has been there and done that – I still speak to some of the boys now and those are probably some of your fondest memories, some of your best days. It’s probably the most connected – they’re all you’re age, they’re all your mates and you get to run around on the pitch in front of your families and a few thousand in Edinburgh. It’s unreal.

    The 20s sticks in your head as your earliest professional memories and that’s something you hold on to, just to go out there with all your pals. Fortunately I’ve got a few who stuck with me – Dargey, Ollie Smith, Connor Boyle, Cammy Hendo [Henderson] who recently got his cap. Some of my best memories in a Scotland jersey still.

    What’s it like at Hive?

    Yeah it’s class. I loved it my first time a few months ago [playing for Edinburgh]. The atmosphere was class, against Gloucester it was absolutely bouncing. The fans are unreal, it’s always a sell-out so hopefully the 20s boys can get fans down to watch and get the atmosphere that we get as well.

    Pictured: Ewan lining up before facing England in the U20 Six Nations, alongside Rory Darge, 2020.

  • Douglas eager to make his mark on his first U20 Six Nations

    Making the step-up to professional rugby and scoring two tries on your Scotland U20 debut- it’s been six months that flanker Freddy Douglas won’t forget.

    Douglas got his first taste of the international Under-20 stage against Wales last Friday, where the Scots were edged out 37-29 in a frantic match. Despite a brace and a starring performance from Douglas, it wasn’t quite enough to come away with the points.

    The 18-year-old, a product of Stewart Melville’s College, had already represented Scotland at Under-18 level. He played all 12 Super Series games for FOSROC Future XV this year and had the most breakdown turnovers in the championship, a part of his game he is keen to showcase on what is his biggest stage so far.

    “The U20 Six Nations is a really high level of rugby internationally; it’ll be the highest I’ve ever played at. Just trying to make an impact is my big thing, I don’t want to be quiet in a game, I want people to notice that I’m playing.

    “I pride myself on being able to turn the ball over. Sometimes that’s in the tackle but most of the time it’s jackaling, it’s been a real solid strength for me for almost my entire life playing rugby. I started jackaling during minis rugby and got told I wasn’t allowed to do it”.

    Freddy is part of the Edinburgh Rugby contracted academy for season 23/24, which allows future prospects to train with the club’s senior players while they participate in the FOSROC Super Series. Reflecting on his step up to professional rugby so far, he emphasises just how much more demanding the setup is:

    “The speed is so, so quick. You’ve got to be up off the floor in seconds, you can’t ever be slow. Just the speed and skill level, even if you think a pass is good and accurate it could still kill a whole play, the speed and accuracy level is just another step up.

    “You’re tackling people who are bigger than you and I’m not the biggest. They’re running really hard at you and are wanting to run you over. That was weird just getting used to the physical side of it. The margins for breakdowns were so small, learning just how quick and efficient you have to be to get a turnover or to make a decent impact on the breakdown was a big thing for me.”

    Despite last week’s narrow defeat, Freddy is determined to continue to wear the thistle with pride and improve on last year’s campaign:

    “I just want to make an impact and do Scotland proud. If I’m selected for my country I want to play for that badge”.

    Regardless of results, the experience of pulling on the dark blue jersey at his highest level yet is undoubtedly a proud moment for Freddy.

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