Scotland u/20 is still searching for their 1st win in the 2019 u/20 Six Nations Championship. They travel to France's Stade du Hameau, Pau in an attempt to shock everybody and beat a France team who had to make 9 changes due to club commitments. France is unbeaten in 11 games against Scotland at this level and should again win with relative ease.
Head Coach Sebastien Piqueronies announced a France u/20 team that has nine changes from the side that lost to England two weeks ago. He said all the changes are part of their rotation policy in order to give all forty players in their training squad exposure and game time before a final squad must be announced for the 2019 u/20 World Championship.
Scotland's Head coach Carl Hogg named a side with only 3 changes for this match. The inclusion of Hughes – who has previously represented Scotland at under-18 level – is one of three changes to the age-grade side’s back division as the debutant replaces the injured Cameron Anderson (Wasps) in midfield.
Hughes is partnered in the centre by the returning Ollie Smith (Ayr), while Matt Davidson (London Scottish) is named at fullback after impressing from the bench against Ireland two weeks ago. The only alteration to the forward pack sees Ross Bundy (Stirling County) make his first start for Scotland U20 after being selected at No. 8 in the place of Kwagga van Niekerk who may not travel to France due to visa restrictions.
Ahead of the fixture, Hogg said: “Grant [Hughes] is a very good communicator at 12 and we think he’ll really help out our half-back combination in organising our backline. We’re looking forward to seeing how he gets involved with our playmaking too. The first two fixtures in the tournament have been disappointing. We know that we haven’t hit the heights that we can achieve as a group.
“Playing in France is always special and there should be a partisan atmosphere under the floodlights. We’ve just got to go out there and be bold in the way we play. We’ve got to be brave. We’ve got to start from the first whistle and we’ve got to have the mentality to win the game.
“We know that if we can lift the speed of the game and build the phases then we can really stress a strong French side. We’re really looking forward to the challenge.”
(15) De Nardi, (14) Pinto, (13) Moefana, (12) Desaubies, (11) Dridi, (10) Smaïli, (9) Germain, (8) Joseph, (7) Boudehent, (6) Hamonou, (5) Marvat, (4) Lavault, (3) Beria, (2) Jutge, (1) Eglaine
Replacements: (16) Barka, (17) Zouhair, (18) Chisel, (19) Vanverberghe, (20) Hirigoyen, (21) Delord, (22) Favre, (23) Tiberghien.
15. Matt Davidson (London Scottish), 14. Rory McMichael (Heriot’s), 13. Ollie Smith (Ayr), 12. Grant Hughes (Stirling County), 11. Jack Blain (Heriot’s), 10. Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)(VC), 9. Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains), 1. Murphy Walker (Stirling County) 2. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), 3. Euan McLaren (Ayr), 4. Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), 5. Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), 6. Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 7. Connor Boyle (Watsonians) (C), 8. Ross Bundy (Stirling County)
Substitutes: 16. Angus Fraser (Glasgow Hawks), 17. Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), 18. Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University), 19. Jack Mann (Edinburgh Accies), 20. Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks), 21. Murray Scott (Watsonians), 22. Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), 23. Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros)