Scots U18s aim to bounce back

Scotland play their second match of the FIRA-AER under-18 tournament at Madrid University today when they face Portugal in what is the semi-final round of the competition. The young Scots lost their opening game against France by 19-7 and will want to achieve a win today to secure a likely third round match against Italy (who play Georgia today) on Saturday.

Portugal are making good progress as their performances in the HSBC World Sevens Series, most recently a win over Scotland in Tokyo, has illustrated. At FIRA-AER they lost their opening match to Ireland by 34-24 but showed their competitive ability by scoring three tries.

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Scotland under-18 head coach Eddie Pollock has made ten changes, one positional, to the side that started against France, bringing in half backs Alex Glashan and Ben Cooper, Frankie Robson at centre and Sam Moncur on the wing.

In the pack, Chris Dean switches from openside to No 8, Robbie Tait and Tommy Spinks are on the flanks, Duncan Campbell is in the second row and there are first starts for props Darcy Rae and Ross Murray. Scotland have also brought in the under-17 international prop Cameron Fenton from Strathallan/Howe of Fife, who replaces the injured Phil Cringle of Kirkham Grammar School. Fenton will start on the bench today.

Scotland U18: G Lowe (Ayr); E Farquharson (Cults Academy/Aberdeen GS), C Mackenzie-Lawrie (Warwick School), F Robson (Kelso HS/Kelso), S Moncur (St Ambrose College/Sale Sharks); B Cooper (Sedbergh), A Glashan (Edinburgh Academy); D Rae (Kilmarnock), B Jardine (Carrick Academy/Kilmarnock), R Murray (Dollar Academy/Stirling County), D Campbell (Robert Gordon’s College/Mackie), N Irvine-Hess (George Watson’s College), T Spinks (Fettes College), R Tait (Millfield), C Dean (Edinburgh Academy). Subs from C Fenton (Strathallan/Howe of Fife), J Malcolm (Hutchesons’ Grammar School/GHA), C Barnes (Glasgow HS/Glasgow Hawks), A Cramond (Royal HS/BATS), C Simpson (Edinburgh Academy), C Turner (Robert Gordon’s College), M McAndrew (Strathallan/Howe of Fife), C Irvine (Harrogate), N Herron (Jordanhill School/West of Scotland), S Pecqueur (Trinity Academy/BATS), S Macdonald (Dunblane HS/Stirling County).