Hawick’s Rhys Tait hoping to get third time lucky as Scotland under-20 rugby captain

Hawick’s Rhys Tait will be hoping to get third time lucky as he leads out Scotland’s under-20 rugby team tomorrow, February 25, in their age-grade Six Nations tournament.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 10:06 am
Hawick's Rhys Tait at a Scotland under-20s training session in Edinburgh on Tuesday (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)
Hawick's Rhys Tait at a Scotland under-20s training session in Edinburgh on Tuesday (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)

The young Scots’ game against France at Edinburgh’s DAM Health Stadium tomorrow night, kicking off at 8pm, will be their third of the tournament and also Tait’s third in charge.

The 19-year-old’s first game as skipper was a 41-24 home defeat by England on Friday, February 4, and that was followed by a 26-13 loss in Wales a week later so he and his team-mates will now be out to prevent back-to-back defeats turning into a losing streak or, worse still, a whitewash like last year.

Tait is joined in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s game named yesterday, February 23, by head coach Kenny Murray by fellow Borderers Christian Townsend and Patrick Harrison, along with Murray Redpath, son of Galashiels-born former Scotland captain Bryan Redpath.

Christian Townsend at a Scotland under-20s training session in Edinburgh on Tuesday (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)

Murray has made only one change to the side beaten in Colwyn Bay and that’s bringing Ollie Leatherbarrow back at No 8.

Tait will be on the openside flank, West Linton’s Harrison, 19, will be hooker; Townsend, 20, son of Scotland senior head coach Gregor Townsend, will be at stand-off; and Redpath will play at scrum-half.

Tait and Townsend are on seven under-20 caps and Harrison and Redpath on six.

Murray said: “We’re still a bit frustrated from the last game against Wales.

Ex-Peebles player Patrick Harrison at a Scotland under-20s training session in Edinburgh on Tuesday (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)

“We were in the Welsh half a lot in that first half and had numerous opportunities to score, so we just need to execute our plays better in order for us to do that.

“The fact that we’ve only made one change to the team shows that there are positives to take from that game.

“We know that France will be a physical outfit, but we showed against England that we can match that and some.

"As we’ve said previously, the team didn’t perform for the full 80 minutes. If we do that, then we will get the result we have been after.”

Murray Redpath at a Scotland under-20s training session in Edinburgh on Tuesday (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)

Making up the rest of the starting line-up are Robin McClintock, Ross McKnight, Duncan Munn, Andy Stirrat, Ollie Melville, Michael Jones, Gregor Scougall, Josh Taylor, Max Williamson and Matthew Deehan.

Gregor Hiddleston, Ali Rogers, Callum Norrie, Rudi Brown, Tim Brown, Jonty Cope, Euan Cunningham and Thomas Glendinning have been named as replacements.