Scotland Under-20s squad: Nine new faces called up for Summer Series

Boroughmuir Bears back-row Liam McConnell and Gala winger Kerr Johnston have been promoted from the Scotland under-18s squad into the under-20s as prepare for the Summer Series, which gets under way in Italy later this week.

Scotland Under-20s coach Kenny Murray.
Scotland Under-20s coach Kenny Murray.

South African-based Euan Groenewald, Gabe Jones, Iain Carmichael, Ben Afshar, Finlay Burgess, Ryan Daley and James Lascelles are among the other new faces in the 32-strong squad who will be looking to help the Scots rebuild after a poor under-20 Six Nations earlier in the year.

The Scots lost all five matches in that tournament and afterwards head coach Kenny Murray said “I don’t think [some of the players] were conditioned to play at that level”.

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As a result, he and his coaching team have brought in the likes of McConnell and Johnston, who both played in the under-18 Six Nations Festival in France recently, to shake things up a bit.

Murray has also been pleased to see 24 of the travelling squad playing some part in the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series over the last couple of months. Exposure to that level of part-time professional rugby is key to the development of the best young players in this country.

Scotland are in Pool B of the Summer Series - which runs from this Friday to July 12 - alongside Wales, Italy and Georgia.

The pool matches will be in Treviso and Scotland start against Wales on Saturday.

“I’m really excited to be taking this group of players across to Italy for the Summer Series to see what they can do,” Murray said.

“Whilst the results in the Six Nations were disappointing, we’ve been building on the positives that can be taken from that competition to take into this summer.”

Pool A of the Summer Series takes place in Verona and features France, Ireland, England and South Africa.

After the pool phase, cross-pool fixtures take place.

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Scotland forwards: Gregor Hiddleston (Stirling County), Patrick Harrison (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby), Duncan Hood (Bath University), James Lascelles (Gloucester Rugby/Hartpury College), Ali Rogers (Ayrshire Bulls), Iain Carmichael (Boroughmuir Bears), Gregor Scougall (Watsonians), Callum Norrie (Stirling County/Strahallan School), Max Williamson (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Jake Spurway (Stirling County/Durham University), Josh Taylor (Ealing Trailfinders), Rudi Brown (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby), Rhys Tait (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors), Tim Brown (Ayrshire Bulls), Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter Chiefs), Liam McConnell (Boroughmuir Bears), Euan Groenewald (University of Pretoria (TUKS)), Matt Deehan (Newcastle Falcons).

Scotland backs: Murray Redpath (Southern Knights/Newcastle University), Finlay Burgess (Stirling County), Ben Afshar (Southern Knights), Christian Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors), Euan Cunningham (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Andrew Stirrat (Ayrshire Bulls), Ben Salmon (Stirling County), Duncan Munn (Boroughmuir Bears), Thomas Glendinning (Ayrshire Bulls), Keiran Clark (Southern Knights), Kerr Johnston (Gala), Ryan Daley (Watsonians), Gabe Jones (Brunel University/Ealing Trailfinders), Ross McKnight (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors).