Young Melrose player Rory Darge is set to make his first start of Scotland U20s’ Six Nations campaign tomorrow (Friday), at the expense of injured Borders teammate Guy Graham.
Head coach Stevie Scott named Darge as openside flanker among the squad to face Ireland at Donnybrook (kick-off 7.15pm).
The selection includes just two changes to the side which secured a famous victory over England at Myreside a fortnight ago.
Back-row Guy Graham, of Hawick, has been in try-scoring form already during the campaign, but injury has forced him to the sidelines, along wih centre Callum McLelland.
Fellow back-row Darge, who has been praised for his performances from the bench thus far, is promoted to the starting XV, along with Fraser Strachan.
Coach Scott said: “The boys will have taken a lot from the England win. It was a big result for us and one the squad will remember for a long time.
“Ireland is another tough fixture. We’re on the road, which always adds another challenge, but they certainly won’t take us lightly.
“The squad have trained hard this week and it’s a game we’re looking forward to. It’s important that we get back out there and put in another strong performance.”
The line-up features: 15 Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr), 14 Rory McMichael (Glasgow Hawks), 13 Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints), 12 Stafford McDowall (Ayr), 11 Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Hawks), 10 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), 9 Charlie Chapman (Gloucester); 1 Shaun Gunn (Edinburgh Accies), 2 Robbie Smith (Ayr), 3 Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies), 4 Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), 5 Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians), 6 Martin Hughes (Heriots), 7 Rory Darge (Melrose), 8 Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints).
Replacements: 16 Bradley Clements (Ealing) 17 Nathan McBeth (Lions), 18 Murphy Walker (Dundee HSFP), 19 Marshall Sykes (St Joseph’s College / Northampton Saints), 20 Connor Boyle (Stewart’s Melville College), 21 Kaleem Barreto (Marr), 22 Mark New (Glasgow Hawks), 23 Logan Trotter (Stirling County).