Guy and Rory line up against England

Rory Darge
Rory Darge

Head coach Stevie Scott has kept faith with the Borders rugby pair who’ve turned out in both of Scotland U20s’ Six Nations matches so far.

Guy Graham of Hawick and Rory Darge of Melrose have both been named in the squad to face England tomorrow (Friday) at Myreside, with a 7.30pm kick-off.

The squad selection includes two changes to the side who faced France at Broadwood Stadium in round two of the competition and features 11 players who are currently enrolled in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.

Guy scored two tries against the French and retains his place in the back row of the starting line-up. Rory was roundly praised for his performance after he came on as a replacement, and he is named once more on the subs’ bench.

The local lads will also be lining up against an ex-Gala Academy player - Rory Brand, of London Irish, has been named in the England squad.

Elsewhere in the Scotland XV, the inclusion of Rory McMichael is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back three. The Glasgow Hawks back replaces Logan Trotter – who drops to the bench – and is joined on the wing by club teammate Kyle Rowe, while Paddy Dewhirst is named at fullback.

In the centre, vice-captain Stafford McDowall once again partners Edinburgh Rugby’s Callum McLelland, while Ross Thompson and Gloucester Academy’s Charlie Chapman continue at half-back.

An unchanged tight-five sees captain Robbie Smith pack down alongside Edinburgh Accies duo Shaun Gunn and Finlay Richardson in the front row, with Ewan Johnson and Watsonians’ Jamie Hodgson named as locks.

Heriot’s Martin Hughes makes his first start of the campaign at blindside flanker and links up with the imposing tandem of Devante Onojaife – and Guy Graham.

Stevie Scott said: “I’ve said it before – the more games this group play together, the better they’ll get. So I’m hoping for a further improvement from where we’ve been.

“Against France, our set-piece tightened up a lot, because we struggled with that in our first match against Wales. Our mauls are a positive; that’s definitely a strength for us. We’ve looked really dangerous from the maul and managed to cause France some problems with that.

“Towards the end of the France game, the boys showed a bit of fight and that’s what we need to do against England. I’ve said to the boys this week – if there was ever a time to get a reaction, this is the time to do it. At home and against England.

“We’re playing them at Myreside, which myself and the squad are really looking forward to. I think we’ll have a decent crowd and they’ll be hoping for a reaction too.”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s ladies take on the English in their equivalent championship – and several ladies with former Borders connections are lining up for the home team. The game is at Scotstoun tomorrow (Friday), kick-off 7.05pm, and is live on Sky Sports.