U20: Munn’s the word as Duncan and fellow Boroughmuir Bear Liam McConnell prepare to lead Scotland

By Gary Heatly

Boroughmuir has always been a club that prides itself on helping young rugby talent reach the top of the game – and the current Scotland under-20 squad is testament to that.

Club products Jerry Blyth-Lafferty and Liam McConnell are joined in the playing group that is preparing for the age-grade Six Nations by Corey Tait (originally from Hawick RFC) and Duncan Munn (originally from Loch Lomond RFC).

Hooker Jerry and back-row Liam loved their time in the Boroughmuir youth section and have since moved on to the Boroughmuir Bears in Super6 where they have been joined by Corey, another hooker, and centre Duncan.

With the Boroughmuir Youth Academy now having been added to by the Bears Academy at Meggetland, there is a really strong pathway for players right from the youth section through to the senior Boroughmuir XVs and, potentially, to the Bears.

These are exciting times at the Edinburgh club for sure and having 18-year-old Liam – an Edinburgh Rugby Academy player – joining forces with Glasgow Rugby Academy player Duncan to lead Scotland at age-grade level makes many at Meggetland very proud.

“Liam and Duncan are both guys who show really good leadership qualities, they are both obviously guys who are really keen to play for their country and they are guys who lead by example in terms of their behaviours off the field and their commitment on it,” Scotland under-20 head coach Kenny Murray said ahead of the Six Nations opener away to England this coming Friday evening at the Twickenham Stoop.

“They were two obvious candidates. Duncan is in his last year of under-20s and Liam has another year [at this level], so I think it is really beneficially to them to share the work this year and then Liam can come through next year.”

Duncan, 19, said: “It is a real honour to lead the team with Liam and I’m excited.

“Me and Liam get on really well, we both play for the Bears so we have known each other a while and I think we complement each other well, obviously he is a forward and I am a back and we have different strengths which should be good for the team. It helps to share the workload and we want to make sure all of the players are on the same page.

“It was obviously very quick going from school to Super6 [in the second half of 2021] then into the 20s environment, it was a big eye opener. Everyone at the Bears helped me settle in quickly at the club though and it is a great squad to be a part of.

“This season the senior Academy boys at Glasgow have been in a lot with the pros and that has been really helpful picking up tips from them.

“Especially in my position its helpful as there are top quality guys like Sione [Tuipolotu], Huw Jones, Stafford [McDowall] and Sam Johnson. They are quality players and you just spend as much time with them as you can, learning things and they are always good to talk to. They are always easy to talk to, so I’d say that’s helped me a lot.


“Having last year [in the under-20s] was good experience to build on for this year and it definitely opened my eyes to just how tough international rugby is, so it has put us in a good place to move forward this year.

“Results didn’t go our way [in 2021/22], but one of the positives that we took was that we were in pretty much all of the games up until sort of 60 minutes. It is those last 20 minutes we have really been working on and executing our chances.

“Sometimes the results didn’t look pretty, but it is those last 20 minutes we are focused on and trying will be trying to execute well.”

Inspired by Duncan’s story and want to get involved in rugby at Boroughmuir and Boroughmuir Bears? to find out more visit boroughmuirsports.co.uk, it really is a game – and a club – for all males and females…

The Scotland under-20s matchday squad to face England will be named on Wednesday, find out more about the age-grade Six Nations here

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photos