The Sale Sharks back-row, 19, is one of 12 changes to the Scotland starting line-up that will take on New Zealand in their second Pool C match at the World under-20 Championship in Rosario, Argentina on Saturday.
And head coach Carl Hogg believes the openside can make a nuisance of himself in what will be a tough test.
“Teddy is an all action openside, his point of difference is that he is very aggressive and he is your old fashioned, stereotypical seven who works really hard over the ball, controls the speed of the opposition ball and has a really high tackle rate,” Hogg said of Leatherbarrow.
“He will relish this challenge, he is somebody who I hope will stick his hand up going forward.”
The new-look team is looking to bounce back after Tuesday’s 43-19 loss to South Africa.
Only Ewan Johnson, Rory McMichael and Jack Blain have kept their starting spots and Nathan Chamberlain will captain the team from stand-off with back-row Jack Hill given a debut.
“Nathan plays down at Hartpury and he played in the BUCS Super League final in April which they won, so he is feeling good,” Hogg said of the 19-year-old Bristol Bears man.
“I think it’s good to have a captain in one of the pivotal positions, whether it ‘s the back-row, nine or 10. That ideally suits this side and it gives us some direction.
“Jack Hill has been in and around the squad since the Six Nations and has been unlucky not to get a chance before.
“He has a very high work rate as a back-row – his actions off ball will be very high during a game – so it’s a great opportunity, not just for Jack, but for everybody to play potentially one of the best teams in the world.”
And that certainly goes for Edinburgh Academy pupil Rory Jackson.
On the 18-year-old hooker Hogg said: “He’s been on our radar for a wee while. We lost Finlay Scott during the Six Nations, plus we lost Gus Fraser just before we came out to here, but it’s a huge opportunity for Rory Jackson.
“He’s physically a very big man, so I don’t think the physical demands of the game will be a burden for him. It will be good to see how he adapts to the higher pace and the higher intensity, at this level.”
15 Ollie Smith (Ayr)
14 Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians)
13 Rory McMichael (Heriot’s)
12 Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros)
11 Jack Blain (Heriot’s)
10 Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears, C)
9 Murray Scott (Watsonians)
1 Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks)
2 Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy)
3 Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
4 Ewan Johnson (Racing 92)
5 Ross Bundy (Stirling County)
6 Jack Hill (Durham University)
7 Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks)
8 Kwagga van Niekerk (Lions)
16 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks)
17 Murphy Walker (Stirling County)
18 Euan McLaren (Ayr)
19 Mak Wilson (Melrose)
20 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)
21 Marshall Sykes (Ayr)
22 Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons)
23 Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains)
24 Connor Boyle (Watsonians)
25 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)
26 Grant Hughes (Stirling County)
27 Cameron Anderson (Wasps)
28 Matt Davidson (London Scottish)
Scotland v New Zealand takes place in Pool C of the under-20 World Championship at 3.30pm local time (7.30pm UK time) on Saturday, June 8 – the match will be streamed live on world.rugby/u20
Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photos