Hawick’s Rhys Tait named as Scotland captain for under-20 Six Nations rugby tournament

Hawick’s Rhys Tait has been named as captain of the Scottish national rugby team for this year’s under-20 Six Nations tournament.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 4:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 5:03 pm
Hawick's Rhys Tait at a Scotland under-20s training session earlier this month in Edinburgh (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group/Scottish Rugby)
Hawick's Rhys Tait at a Scotland under-20s training session earlier this month in Edinburgh (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group/Scottish Rugby)

Tait, 19, is among a 30-man squad named today, January 27, by head coach Kenny Murray for the age-grade competition, starting next Friday, February 4.

Like their senior counterparts, the Scots will kick off their campaign at home to England.

They welcome the English, last year’s under-20 Six Nations champions, to Edinburgh’s DAM Health a week tomorrow.

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Kicking off at 8pm, that game will be screened live on BBC iPlayer.

Making up Murray’s squad are 17 forwards and 13 backs, with 14 of them returning after getting their first taste of age-grade international rugby last summer at the 2021 under-20 Six Nations championships in Wales.

Almost half the squad are supported by the Scottish Rugby Academy, with nine of them training full-time with Glasgow Warriors or Edinburgh and a dozen having taken part in last year’s Fosroc Super6 competition.

Tait, a back-row with Edinburgh’s Boroughmuir Bears and also part of Glasgow Warriors’ academy after playing at youth level for Hawick and Jed-Forest, featured in all five of Scotland’s under-20 fixtures last year.

The teenager, previously with the Bears’ Borders rivals Southern Knights, was also named as man of the match after their 35-29 away victory against fellow capital side Watsonians in round nine of the Super6 in October.

​Tait, elder brother of current Hawick player Corey, and the rest of the squad have taken part in several training camps overseen by Shade Munro, Rob Chrystie and Kris Burney already and that set-up will continue under Murray.

Scotland’s second game of the championship is against Wales away on Friday, February 11, in Colwyn Bay, followed by a return to Edinburgh to host France on Friday, February 25.

Their tournament will conclude with away fixtures against Italy on Friday, March 11, in Treviso and Ireland on Sunday, March 20, in Cork.

Murray, 48, said: “Having just stepped into this role, I have been impressed by the players’ commitment, intensity and skill-set during our camp this week.

“I watched a lot of the Fosroc Super6 last year and have had the chance to work with some of these players in the Glasgow Warriors setting already, so I know what they are capable of.

“The squad had a difficult time down in Cardiff last year. Although it was challenging for them, it does mean that 14 players now have experience and knowledge of playing international rugby and they know how to better prepare for what is to come this year.”

Tait is one of three Borderers in the squad, along with West Linton’s Patrick Harrison and current Scotland senior head coach Gregor Townsend’s son Christian, and they’re accompanied by Murray Redpath, son of Galashiels-born former Scotland captain Bryan and brother of current senior international Cameron.

Mikey Jones, Tom Banatvala, Ali Rogers, Callum Norrie, Olly Frostick, Gregor Hiddleston, Duncan Hood, Max Williamson, Josh Taylor, Jake Spurway, Tim Brown, Innes Hill, Olujare Oguntibeju, Matt Deehan and Ollie Leatherbarrow are the other forwards in the squad.

The other backs are Jonty Cope, Jed Gelderbloom, Euan Cunningham, Duncan Munn, Mike Gray, Ben Salmon, Andy Stirrat, Ross McKnight, Ben Evans, Ollie Melville and Robin McLintock.