19-year-old prop Nathan McBeth is set to link up with the Scotland Under-20 squad, despite the best efforts of South Africa to retain his services.
McBeth, a loose-head, is currently attached to the Golden Lions and according to the Offside Line, was personally sounded out by South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus about playing for the Springboks Under-20s.
As well as Erasmus, the Lions coaching staff believe McBeth has a bright future in Super Rugby and could make it as a full member of the national side.
But McBeth, who qualifies for Scotland through his paternal family, is believed to be targeting a place in Stevie Scott’s squad at this year’s Junior World Championship in France, where Scotland will face England, Italy and Argentina.
McBeth, who is an alumnus of Monument High School - also attended by Brendan Venter, Jacque Fourie, Willem Alberts, Jaco Taute and Edinburgh Rugby fly-half Jaco van der Walt - will return to South Africa later this year to honour his three-year contract with the Lions but is thought to be keeping an open mind regarding his international allegiance.
New rules that came into effect on January 1 prevent rugby unions from nominating their Under-20s as a second representative team, meaning players capped at that level aren’t tied to that nation at senior level.