Borders rugby players earn Scotland under-20 caps

GALA’S Gary Graham and Jed-Forest’s Andrew Nagle have joined the list of Scotland under-20 cap holders after the Borders pair represented their country in the IRB Junior World Championship being staged in Capetown.

And adding to his collection of caps is former Melrose prop Gavin Robertson now with Dundee HSFP.

Graham has played in all three of Scotland’s pool matches against Australia, France and Argentina, suggesting that the Netherdale flanker should have been included in the Scotland squad for the Six Nations. It did seem odd that Graham was left out for the Six Nations given that he has been a regular in a successful Gala team while others selected were only occasional players for Premiership clubs.

Nagle’s Junior World Championship experience has been limited to the opening game against Australia when Scotland suffered a crushing 67-12 defeat to the young Wallabies. Just why the Scots were drubbed is hard to understand given the subsequent performances against France and Argentina, but it may have to do with a cancelled training week, as Borders-based Scotland under-20 assistant coach, Bryan Easson explained.

“We were supposed to have a training week with South Africa and play a practice match against them. But a sickness bug spread through the Baby Boks’ squad and we were forced to change our plans,” he said.

“It was a pity, because last year in Italy we did the same with Australia and it worked well for us.”

The Scots, however, recovered their composure to come within a point of beating France and score away from a win over Argentina, who are in the top four after winning Pool C. Following the pool games Scotland are ranked 10th and will play Italy on Sunday (June 17) in the penultimate round.