Weir set for U20 debut as young Scots face Wallabies

SCOTLAND face last season's fourth placed finishers, Australia, in the opening round of the IRB World Under 20 championship at the Estadio CA Colon in Santa Fe, Argentina, today to begin what will be a demanding schedule of five matches over a 16-day period.

Under the microscope today will be new Glasgow signing Duncan Weir, who two months ago played a pivotal part in Scotland's win over France at under 19 level, albeit as an inside centre. Today Weir, making his debut appearance for Scotland under 20, is at stand-off in a backline that showed a capability for attacking rugby in the Six Nations championship.

Weir will play opposite Matt Toomuha, who has toured with the senior Wallabies, and is one of several in the side to have experienced Super 14 rugby. Australia have already shown their strength by defeating hosts Argentina 33-13 in a warm-up game in Buenos Aires, but at the cost of injuries to two of their better players, forcing the junior Wallabies to call in two replacements.

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"Australia have a number of quality and experienced players," said Scotland coach Eamon John."But this is a strong Scotland group, some of whom will go all the way to senior international rugby.

"We had a relatively good Six Nations except for our final game against Ireland but we know this is a different competition. We have to try and disrupt Australia's attacking rhythm."

Missing from the Scotland line-up is influential lock Grant Gilchrist, who played in Japan last year. The Stirling County second row has had a recurrence of a shin injury and was ruled out for this match.

That has presented an opportunity for the West of Scotland under 19 lock Rob McAlpine to make his debut and form a second-row partnership with clubmate Rob Harley, who plays in his second Junior World Championship.

Scotland u20:

T Brown (Edinburgh Accies); O Grove (Worcester Warriors), M Tait (Newcastle Falcons), A Dunbar (Glasgow), D Fife (Currie); D Weir (Glasgow), A Black (Leeds Carnegie); N Little (Hawick), A Walker (Currie), G Hunter (Glasgow Hawks), R McAlpine (West of Scotland), R Harley (West of Scotland), M Maltman (Heriot's), D Denton (Edinburgh Accies), S McInally (Watsonians, captain). Subs: A Fedorciow (Bath), A Kent (London Scottish), C Stidston-Nott (London Scottish), M Fedo (Watsonians), R Weir (Loughborough University), M Scott (Currie), C MacBirnie (Moseley)


L Morahan (Queensland University); A Toua (Eastern Districts), K Sitauti (Souths), R Coleman (Queanbeyan), G Jeloudev (Sydney University); M Toomua (Eastern Suburbs), J Turner (Associates); C Ah-Nau (Kalamunda), S Siliva (Associates), P Alo-Emile (Sunnybank), P Battye (Tuggeranong), G Peterson (Manly), C Faingaa (Tuggeranong), L Gill (Sunnybank), J Schatz (Sunnybank). Subs: S Robertson (Sydney University), S Manu (Manly), L Jones (Sydney University), E Quirk (Easts), N White (Queanbeyan), J Lance (Queensland University), D Anderson (Eastern Suburbs).

Referee: P Gauzere (France)