Bruised Scotland Under-20s asked for one last push in bid to avoid skittled 2022

Scotland Under-20 head coach Kenny Murray has asked his battered and bruised squad to give him one last big effort against Ireland on Tuesday as they look to avert finishing 2022 with nine defeats from nine.

Ollie Leatherbarrow returns to the Scotland Under-20 team.
Ollie Leatherbarrow returns to the Scotland Under-20 team.

The Scots went winless during the Six Nations earlier in the year, but there were higher hopes going into the Summer Series in Italy given that the squad were able to train more together and many of the players were involved in the Super6 Sprint Series in the lead up to the tournament.

However, that positivity has been dashed by Pool B defeats to Wales, Italy and Georgia in Treviso in recent weeks.

They now take on Ireland in the Stadio Di Monigo in Treviso (11am UK time, live on Scottish Rugby website) who finished bottom of Pool A in Verona looking to avoid a clean sweep of losses in the calendar year.

Ireland were in a much stronger pool than Scotland alongside South Africa, England and France and managed to win one game while they were crowned Six Nations Grand Slam winners just a few months ago.

As a result, Scotland will be up against it and Murray has brought hooker Patrick Harrison, tighthead prop Callum Norrie, No.8 Ollie Leatherbarrow and stand-off Euan Cunningham into the starting XV.

Hooker Gregor Hiddleston is being deployed as a back-row for this one, fellow back-row Rhys Tait captains the side and Murray said: “We’ve got probably our hardest game [of this tournament] coming up, so it is going to be tough.

“That’s the learning curve a lot of our guys are on – we need to be better, we need to be so much better in everything we do.

“This group have worked hard throughout the campaign and know what they need to do to be able to put in a performance that they can be proud of.”

Hooker Josh Hanlon, second-row Charlie Irvine, scrum-half Andrew O’Mahony and winger George Coomber come into the Ireland starting XV.

After this game on Finals Day for the Summer Series, France play Georgia, England take on Italy and South Africa play Wales to conclude proceedings.