FRESH from their first away victory over France, Scotland's under-18 rugby squad are in confident mood ahead of the inaugural Six Nations Festival for the age group, which will take place in Glasgow this week.
Scotland have drawn England, Italy and Wales in the tournament, which is in the form of a truncated round robin. Reigning home unions' champions England are favourites to emerge as a top team. In a move welcomed by the players, organisers have insisted that every player in each of the 26-strong squads must start at least one of the three games. "Having the Six Nations in Scotland is a huge incentive, and a great opportunity for our promising young players," said the Scots' head coach, Colin Robertson.
The matches will be played at four venues in and around the city: West of Scotland's Burnbrae at Milngavie; Glasgow Academicals' New Anniesland, Glasgow Hawks' Old Anniesland and Hughenden, home to Hillhead/Jordanhill and Glasgow Warriors. Hughenden will host a double-header of England v Wales and Italy v Scotland on Wednesday evening with a double-header at Burnbrae on Saturday. Admission to all matches will be free.
UNDER-18 SIX NATIONS FIXTURES: Today: England v Scotland (3pm, Burnbrae), France v Wales (3pm, New Anniesland), Italy v Ireland (3pm, Old Anniesland).
Wednesday: France v Ireland (7.30pm, Old Anniesland), England v Wales (5pm, Hughenden), Italy v Scotland (7.30pm, Hughenden).
Saturday: England v Ireland (1pm, Burnbrae), France v Italy (3pm, Burnbrae), Wales v Scotland (3pm, Hughenden).
Scotland Under-18 squad: Backs: Grant Anderson (Greenock Wdrs), Craig Findlater (Highland), Fraser Thomson (Gala/Galashiels Academy), Steven Aitken (Ellon), Adam McKenzie (Barnard Castle School), Robbie Johnston (Newark), Paul Loudon (Edin Acads, captain), Steven Wilson (Howe of Fife/Bell Baxter HS), Scott Meakin (Ivybridge), Andrew White (Annan), Chris Jackson (Newbury) and Andrew Dymock (Dundee HS).
Forwards: Cameron Godfrey (Biggar/Merchiston Castle School), Gavin Cameron (Hawick Wdrs/Hawick HS), Finlay Gillies (Haddington), Fraser Brown (Biggar/Merchiston CS), Dougie Orr (North Berwick HS), David Morton (Bristol Acad), Richard Gray (Glasgow Hawks), Fraser Galbraith (George Watson's College), Nick Campbell (Allan Glen's), Struan Dewar (Strathallan School), Edward Maslaveckas (Harrogate), Tom Drennan (BATs/Trinity Academy), Neil Rodger (Haddington/Knox Academy) and Chris Fusaro (Howe of Fife/Bell Baxter HS).