Tough task lies ahead for young Scots’ Italian job

07/09/2013, TSPL, Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Sport, Rugby, RBS  Premier 1, Melrose v Glasgow Hawks, The Greenyards, Melrose. Melrose rugby coach, John Dalziel.   Pic Ian Rutherford
07/09/2013, TSPL, Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Sport, Rugby, RBS Premier 1, Melrose v Glasgow Hawks, The Greenyards, Melrose. Melrose rugby coach, John Dalziel. Pic Ian Rutherford
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In an era of under-performing international sides, Scotland’s under-20 rugby stars are attempting to bring some positivity back into the national conciousness.

They embark on an Italian job of sorts at the IRB Junior World Championships next week.

Scotland head to the Northern Italian town of Brescia for their early summer melee bristling with confidence following one of the most successful Six Nation campaigns ever by a Scottish national age-grade side.

The young Thistles recorded impressive victories over Wales, Italy and Ireland, results that have instilled a rising self-belief within the Dark Blues squad that assistant coach John Dalziel hopes can propel them to even more success this summer.

The Greenyards man added: “There is a level of confidence flowing through the side that we can do something special after earning our best ever Six Nations finish,” said Dalziel.

“We have shown we are a hard unit to beat. Gaining victories over Wales, Italy and Ireland was impressive, but there is still a lot more this group has to offer. There is talent right through this team, who will have been together now for nearly two years, and we have the potential for even greater success. The world championships are going to be different to what the boys experienced in the Six Nations.

“The competition is harder and the task, four days between each fixture, will be tough, so as coaches we are going to have our squad balance and rotation tactics perfect, but we are confident heading into the tournament that we will be able to compete.”

The young Scots have been drawn against New Zealand, Argentina and Ireland in a tough pool B, but Dalziel believes the squad have what it takes to rise above the constricting fear of national pessimism and make their mark against the best teams in the world.

He said: “We have a tough group, there is no question, but all the boys are looking forward to the challenge.

“The mindset for many observers is that we might struggle against the bigger nations, but all the boys and coaches are very confident that we can achieve another positive tournament finish.

“The hope is we can build on what we have already achieved with this group. We want to prove that Scottish rugby is on the right track to success and despite the disappointing results at the senior level, there is a great future in store for Scottish rugby.”