SCOTLAND’S stars of the future have been urged to seize a ‘really significant’ opportunity at the Under-18 Six Nations Women’s Festival.
The first of three matchdays takes place at Wellington College on Good Friday as the women’s competition looks to build on a successful inaugural staging last year.
Scotland will play England and Wales in 35-minute clashes on the opening day before facing Ireland and France next Tuesday.
The final matchday, on April 15, sees Duncan Harrison’s side take on Italy in a 70-minute match to round off the competition and team manager Mike Bruce is looking forward to the action getting underway.
“Overwhelmingly, the players are all really excited about the experience,” Bruce said.
“For a couple of them, it’s the first time they’ve been on a plane or away from home, so for us as coaches it’s about making sure their excitement turns into focus for the games ahead of them.
“Our opener against England will be a tough game but we are looking forward to taking what we’ve learned from our training camps into a game situation.”
Scotland’s senior women have endured a tough start to the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, beaten by England and Wales in their opening two rounds.
But Bruce believes competitions such as the Under-18s Festival having official Six Nations backing acts as extra incentive as the young prospects eye up following in the current internationals’ footsteps.
“It is really important,” he said. “Prior to last year, the fixtures were a bit of a hodgepodge but now we have the support of the Six Nations, albeit in its infancy, it is really significant.
“We talk about being on the pathway and this is a clear indicator as to what the girls want to achieve as they take those initial steps towards senior recognition in the national team.”
Scotland are also in action at the Under-18 Six Nations Men’s Festival, which begins on Saturday.
In contrast to the women’s competition, these three matchdays will consist of three 70-minute matches, with Scotland lining up against Ireland (April 8), France (April 12) and Wales (April 16).
All three men’s matchdays take place at Energia Park in Dublin.
Watch the Under-18 Six Nations Festivals HERE.