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Lineen relishing opportunity as Scotland take on Italy

Lineen relishing opportunity as Scotland take on Italy

Lineen relishing opportunity as Scotland take on Italy

Scotland U20s head coach Sean Lineen has made a trio of changes to his XV as winger Rufus McLean, scrum-half Kyle McGhie and back-row Gregor Brown all claim starting berths as his side prepare to for a trip to Italy.

With a pair of close-run defeats to their name in the opening two Rounds if this year’s Championship, Scotland have two losing bonus points to their name thus far, but given the compact nature of the standings, still have plenty to play for.

And Lineen was quick to explain how important this game is for his side, who could go above Italy with a win on Friday night in Rome.

“This is a big opportunity for us. Italy have improved over the years; they’ve got good academies and a lot of players,” he said.

“I’ve been really impressed with how our squad have rolled their sleeves up. It has been a pretty challenging week because of the weather but we need to go out there and do our talking on the pitch.”

“I want them to get across that line and would love for them to experience a win in the Scottish jersey.”

Scotland suffered a 38-26 loss to Ireland in their opening fixture, a game in which they nevertheless showed impressive attacking intent to cross for four tries.

A narrow defeat to England followed, as they were downed 21-17, claiming another losing bonus point in the process.

And Lineen is not concerned as he believes the team is more than capable of turning those performances into points.

“I thought some of our defence against England last time out was outstanding. We know we should have won that game and the players have taken that on board,” he continued.

“We’ve got a really tight group here with talented individuals and we need to teach them to get to the next level.”

Italy started off the competition in fantastic style as they beat Wales at the Stadiwm Zip World 17-7.

However, their momentum took a hit in Round 2 as they suffered a 31-19 loss to France despite leading 19-14 at half time.

Italy U20 v Scotland U20, Stadio Mirabello, Friday 21 February, KO 6pm

Italy men U20s side to face Scotland
15. Jacopo Trulla
14. Luco Borin
13. Federico Mori
12. Giulio Bertaccini
11. Micheal Mba
10. Paolo Gabrisi – captain
9. Manfredi Albanese
1. Matteo Drudi
2. Gianmarco Lucchesi
3. Ion Neculai
4. Riccardo Favretto
5. Andrea Zambonin
6. Luca Andreani
7. Manuel Zuliani
8. Lorenzo Cannone

16 Matteo Baldelli
17. Lorenzo Michelini
18. Muhamed Hasa
19. Pietro Cucinotta
20. Alessandro Izekor
21. Andrea Visentin
22. Mattia Ferrarin
23. Michele Brighetti

Scotland men U20s side to face Italy
15. Ollie Smith
14. Rufus Mclean
13. Matthew Currie
12. Robbie McCallum
11. Jacob Henry
10. Nathan Chamberlain
9. Kyle McGhie
1. Thomas Lambert
2. Ewan Ashman
3. Mak Wilson
4. Kieran Watt
5. Cameron Henderson
6. Gregor Brown
7. Connor Boyle
8. Rory Darge – captain

16. Rory Jackson
17. Alex Maxwell
18. George Breese
19. Jamie Campbell
20. Jack Hill
21. Roan Frostwick
22. Cameron Scott
23. Harry Paterson