New and returning faces named for U20 Ireland clash
Head Coach Kenny Murray has made four changes to his starting side ahead of round four of the 2023 Under-20 Six Nations. This mix of new and returning faces will join the team for this Friday’s match against Ireland at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow (kick-off 7.15pm) – live on BBC iPlayer.
As the young side return to Scotstoun after a gruelling shift in Agen, they will be looking to profit off a vocal home crowd once again – something that proved to be a crucial element for the team to achieve their first win since 2020 against Wales last month.
An unchanged front row from the French encounter sees Craig Davidson don the loosehead jersey, partnered by Moby Ogunlaja, who made his first Under-20 Six Nations start in Agen, at tighthead prop. Corey Tait continues his 2023 Under-20 Six Nations starting streak as he’s called up to play hooker for the fourth game in a row.
The first change for the young team sees Harris McLeod make his comeback after injury to the second row, with hopes for a re-run of his valiant try-scoring efforts against England. He will start in place of fellow second row Ruaraidh Hart who moves to the replacements bench. McLeod reunites with Jake Parkinson who has been an instrumental part of the forward pack and is another player who will be making his fourth start this campaign.
The consistency continues in the back row as co-captain Liam McConnell leads from the blindside flanker position, with the hopes of replicating his Player of the Match performance when the team got their first win against Wales at Scotstoun. He is joined by try scoring machine Rudi Brown on the openside, who has scored in every game of the 2023 campaign so far. After his comeback from injury against France, Jonny Morris will once again start at Number 8, completing the back row.
After his first start of the campaign in Agen, Finlay Burgess continues at the scrum-half position, this time joined by newcomer Luke Townsend (Melrose RFC) at stand-off. Townsend replaces Richie Simpson who is unavailable due to injury sustained against France.
The centre pairing remains unchanged for the fourth consecutive round as co-captain Duncan Munn and Kerr Yule continue their formidable partnership. A full change on the wings this Friday sees Geordie Gwynn (who’s efforts in France almost resulted in a try but was caught out by a late knock-on) and Logan Jarvie earn their first start of the campaign, stepping in for Will Robinson and Ben Evans. Dan King retains his full-back jersey once again to complete the starting fifteen.
There’s a five-three split to make up the replacements bench with Elliot Young, Max Surry, Robbie Deans, Ruaraidh Hart and Sam Derrick in place to bolster the forwards and Charlie Clare, Ben Salmon and Andy McLean providing cover for the backs.
Head Coach Kenny Murray said: “We can all agree our performance in Agen was disappointing, we didn’t show enough energy and physicality to compete against the French team. Everyone – the management and players – know we can’t hide from that result.
“We’ve used the fallow week to regroup and focus on what we must do to bounce back against Ireland on Friday – especially in front of a home crowd.
“The return of some players from injury and the introduction of a few new faces into the team will hopefully be what we need to get a result we’re proud of.”
Scotland U20 team to face Ireland on Friday 10 March at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow (kick-off 7.15pm – live on BBC iPlayer)
15. Dan King** (Heriot’s Rugby)
14. Logan Jarvie* (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
13. Duncan Munn* (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors) (CC)
12. Kerr Yule** (Glasgow Hawks)
11. Geordie Gwynn (Ealing Trailfinders/Brunel University)
10. Luke Townsend** (Melrose RFC)
9. Finlay Burgess* (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
1. Craig Davidson (Watsonians)
2. Corey Tait** (Boroughmuir Bears)
3. Moby Ogunlaja (Glasgow Hawks)
4. Jake Parkinson (Ealing Trailfinders/Brunel University)
5. Harris McLeod* (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
6. Liam McConnell* (Boroughmuir Bears/Edinburgh Rugby) (CC)
7. Rudi Brown* (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby)
8. Jonny Morris** (GHA RFC)
16. Elliot Young (Exeter University/Exeter Chiefs)
17. Max Surry (Cardiff Met University)
18. Robbie Deans* (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby)
19. Ruaraidh Hart** (Glasgow Hawks)
20. Sam Derrick** (Southern Knights)
21. Charlie Clare (Harlequins/Surrey University)
22. Ben Salmon** (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
23. Andy McLean* (Glasgow Hawks)
*FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy Player
**FOSROC Scottish Rugby Regional Academy Player