Four young players with Borders connections are in the starting XV – with three more on the bench.Two of the locally-linked quartet will be in the scrum, with the others operating nearby, as the age-grade side looks to get its championship off to a strong start.Owing to the condensed nature of the tournament, the match-day squad will consist of 26 players, with eight substitutions permitted during the game.Of the names in the match-day squad, 17 are supported by the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy, with 10 of the starting team contracted Academy players aligned to Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors.Patrick Harrison (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby) will start at hooker, while Southern Knights’ Harri Morris will be in the back row, taking the openside flank at number seven.
Behind the scrum, Murray Redpath, of Newcastle University, son of Galashiels’ own former international ace Bryan Redpath and younger brother of current international Cameron Redpath, has been selected at scrum-half. There he will partner Cameron Scott, of Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby, at stand-off.
The three remaining Borders players in the squad are all on the bench – Rhys Tait of Southern Knights, Ethan McVicar of Melrose Rugby and Ayrshire Bulls’ Christian Townsend, son of ex-Gala star and present Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend.
Ahead of the opening fixture, Lineen said: “It’s been a new and exciting squad for us to work with this year, with every player putting their hand up for selection.
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“We know Ireland will be a clever and physical side who will look to get their opportunities in early. Our team know their individual roles and what they must do to get us off to a good start.“We arrived in Cardiff earlier this week and the final preparations have gone well. The boys are ready to go.”