Borders players take a step forward

Thomas Jeffrey
Thomas Jeffrey

Young Borders rugby players are going ‘forward’ to represent Scotland U18s in a match with England this weekend.

Five south of Scotland players have been named among the forwards who’ll hope to have an up-front role when the young Scots play the English at Bridgehaugh in Stirling on Sunday (kick-off noon), ahead of the U18 Six Nations in Wales at the end of the month.

Following the narrow 32-30 defeat to Wales last Sunday, U18s head coach Iain Monaghan has selected a 26-man squad, which once again includes home-based and Scottish Qualified players.

Man of the match Nathan Chamberlain is selected, along with Sunday’s other try-scorers, Rory Jackson, Dan Lancaster and Ollie Smith.

The selection of forwards includes Thomas Jeffrey of Peebles, Mak Wilson of Duns, Daniel Gamble and Cammy Brown, both of Kelso, and Gavin Wilson from Dumfries Saints.

Monaghan, said: “This weekend, we’ll be working hard on what we learnt in the narrow defeat to Wales and looking to build on that performance.

“We have another group of guys coming in this weekend, who we want to have a look at. The more players we can look at the better, so we can take a strong group to the U18 Six Nations tournament at the end of the month.

“Playing England is always a big challenge and the games are physical and fast. These are the games you want to play in and these boys really strive in a competitive environment.

“The players will experience some real highs and some real lows, but this will stand them in good stead when they move on to U19 and U20 squads.”

Scotland U18 squad: Forwards – Thomas Jeffrey (Peebles), Mak Wilson (Duns), Daniel Gamble (Kelso / Merchiston Castle School), Alex Maxwell (Brooksby Melton College / Leicester Tigers), Rory S. Jackson (Edinburgh Academy), Scott Clelland (Ayr), Cammy Brown (Kelso), Tom Morris (Dollar Academy), Kieran Watt (Watsonians), James Barker (Newcastle Falcons / Gosforth Academy), Archie Smeaton (Yorkshire Carnegie / Hymers College), Jack Hill (Sedbergh School / Sale Sharks), Cameron Henderson (Strathallan School), Gavin Wilson* (Dumfries Saints).

Backs – Kristian Kay (Stowe School / Wasps), Jamie Dobie (Merchiston Castle School), Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol / SGS College), Robbie McCallum (Loretto), Dan Lancaster (Yorkshire Carnegie / Bishop Burton College), Scott Robeson (George Heriot’s School), Ollie Smith (Strathallan School), Jack Blain (Stewart’s Melville College), Paul Cunningham (George Watson’s School), Rufus McLean (Merchiston Castle School), Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York), Femi Sofolarin (Dulwich College / Harlequins).