Four selected for U20 Trophy opener

Four selected for U20 Trophy opener

Scotland U20 Head Coach Kenny Murray has confirmed his team to face Zimbabwe U20 this Saturday in their first round of the World Rugby U20 Trophy, with four Edinburgh Rugby pro-academy players selected for the tournament opener in Nairobi.

Back-row Liam McConnell co-captains the age-grade side while hooker Jerry Blyth-Lafferty gets the nod up front. Winger Finn Douglas gets the start out wide as scrum-half Finlay Burgess is named among the replacements.

The game kicks off at 8am BST (10am local time) and will be available to stream live via Rugby Africa and Kenya Rugby Union social media channels.

This match is the first of four that the young Scots will encounter in Nairobi. The team will also be up against USA U20 and Uruguay U20 over the next two weeks, before the finals which take place on Sunday 30 July.

The forward pack only sees two changes from the eight that started in the team’s preparatory match against Spain U20 at the end of last month.

Craig Davidson and Callum Norrie will take on the prop positions, this time joined by Blyth-Lafferty at hooker.

The powerful pairing of Eddie Erskine and Jake Parkinson will once again take charge in the second row.

Co-Captain McConnell starts in the back row, joined by Jonny Smith on the open side and Sam Derrick at Number 8.

Co-Captain Ben Afshar will start at scrum-half, this time joined by Andrew McLean who will be making his first start for Scotland U20.

A strong start from the back five in their match against Spain earns them their position in the starting fifteen.

Geordie Gwynn and Finn Douglas will don the wing jerseys, joined by Kerr Yule and Ben Salmon taking on the centre positions.

Dan King completes the starting fifteen at full-back.

There is a five-three split to make up the replacements bench with Corey Tait, Max Surry, Oliver Minnis, Ruaraidh Hart and Jonny Morris in place to bolster the forwards, along with Finlay Burgess, Findlay Thomson and Matt Reid providing cover for the backs.

Scotland U20 Head Coach Kenny Murray said: “Now that we’ve arrived in Nairobi, we are really looking forward to kicking off the tournament.

“We have four exciting matches ahead of us, all of which pose their own challenges and opportunities.

“Zimbabwe will be a tough opponent. They’re coming off the back of a very impressive win against Kenya in the Rugby Africa Barthés U20 Trophy in April, so they’ll be wanting to continue this form going into the tournament.

“We took many learnings away from our match against Spain last month – both positives and things we needed to improve on. The guys have been training and preparing well, but we must put this into practice to get a good result.”

All matches will be available to watch here.


Scotland U20 team to face Zimbabwe U20 at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday 15 July (kick off 8am BST, 10am local time)

15. Dan King (Heriot’s Rugby)

14. Finn Douglas (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby)
13. Ben Salmon (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
12. Kerr Yule (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors)
11. Geordie Gwynn (Ealing Trailfinders)

10. Andrew McLean (Boroughmuir Bears)

9. Ben Afshar (Ayrshire Bulls) CO-CAPTAIN

1. Craig Davidson (Watsonians)
2. Jerry Blyth-Lafferty (Boroughmuir Bears/Edinburgh Rugby)
3. Callum Norrie (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
4. Eddie Erskine (Bath Rugby/Bath University)
5. Jake Parkinson (Ealing Trailfinders)
6. Liam McConnell (Boroughmuir Bears/Edinburgh Rugby) CO-CAPTAIN
7. Jonny Smith (Harlequins)
8. Sam Derrick (Southern Knights)


16. Corey Tait (Boroughmuir Bears)
17. Max Surry (Cardiff Met University)
18. Oliver Minnis (Hartpury University)
19. Ruaraidh Hart (Stirling Wolves/Glasgow Warriors)
20. Jonny Morris (Watsonians/Glasgow Warriors)
21. Finlay Burgess (Stirling Wolves/Edinburgh Rugby)
22. Findlay Thomson (Watsonians)
23. Matt Reid (Watsonians)

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