Young Scots crank up the noise in bid to help them beat Italy


If you were walking the corridors at the Oriam on the outskirts of Edinburgh this week and wondered what the noise was here is the answer.

To help the Scotland under-20 players prepare for playing in front of a passionate, partisan crowd in Reggio Emilia on Friday night against Italy in the age-grade Six Nations, head coach Sean Lineen has been cranking up the noise during training sessions.

“We have been trying to replicate the crowd noise we will face in Italy, we have done that twice now and it really gets them going,” Lineen said.

“We did it for Ireland [in round one] and have done it for Italy and you can see how nervous the players get because that is mental pressure that comes with being the away team.

“They don’t play in front of big crowds a lot, so we have to replicate that and make sure they learn to play under pressure.”

And there is no doubt the Scots – who have Boroughmuir Bears trip Gregor Brown, Kyle McGhie and Rufus McLean coming into the starting XV this week – will be feeling pressure ahead of this game.

They have two points to date, but have lost to Ireland and England and will want to put in an 80 minute performance this time around.

“We haven’t beaten Italy the last four times we have played them at under-20 level so we are going there to win,” Lineen explained.

“Against Ireland we let the game slip away before coming back into it and the England game was the frustrating one because we deserved to win it and lost it.

“There are no excuses, the players have taken that on board and I have been really pleased how they have rolled their sleeves up and worked hard during this tough week given the weather.

“We need to get out there and do our talking on the pitch.

“Some of the defence against England was great against a very good England team, but I’d love to see them experience a win in a Scottish jersey and get over the line.”

Scotland under-20 team to face Italy on Friday at Stadio Mirabello in Reggio Emilia (6pm GMT):

15 Ollie Smith (Ayrshire Bulls)

14 Rufus McLean (Boroughmuir Bears)

13 Matthew Currie (Watsonians Rugby)

12 Robbie McCallum (Boroughmuir Bears)

11 Jacob Henry (Southern Knights)

10 Nathan Chamberlain (Hartpury College/Bristol Bears)

9 Kyle McGhie (Boroughmuir Bears)

1 Thomas Lambert (Sydney University)

2 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks)

3 Mak Wilson (Southern Knights)

4 Kieran Watt (Watsonians Rugby)

5 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)

6 Gregor Brown (Boroughmuir Bears)

7 Connor Boyle (Watsonians Rugby)

8 Rory Darge (Southern Knights, C)


16 Rory Jackson (Watsonians Rugby)

17 George Breese (Stirling Wolves)

18 Alex Maxwell (Stourbridge)

19 Jamie Campbell (Biggar)

20 Jack Hill (Durham University)

21 Roan Frostwick (Watsonians Rugby)

22 Cameron Scott (Boroughmuir Bears)

23 Harry Paterson (Heriot’s Rugby)

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS and David Gibson/FOTOSPORT for the photos

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