U20 Six Nations – Scotland U20 Will Host Hurting France U20

 

France travel to Scotland at 22:00 (SA Time) in Round 2 of the 2024 U20 Six Nations with both teams looking to bounce back from narrow defeats in their opening fixtures.

Scotland led going into the final 10 minutes in Colwyn Bay against Wales, but two tries saw them fall to a 37-29 defeat, having to settle for a try bonus point in defeat.

France, meanwhile, were also denied late on, a couple of penalties from Jack Murphy in the final four minutes allowing Ireland to emerge as 37-31 winners over Les Bleuets in Aix.

France were convincing winners in this fixture a year ago, and ran out 30-17 victors on their last trip to Edinburgh in 2022.

Scotland have made two changes to the side that travelled to Wales, both coming in the pack. Theo Currie of Harlequins and Swansea University comes into the second row in place of the injured Euan McVie, while Jonny Morris is promoted into the starting line-up at No.8 for Tom Currie, who is also injured.

Scotland head coach Kenny Murray said: “We started off with a really strong performance last week in Colwyn Bay which slipped in the second half and let Wales beat us to the finish line.

“For many of the boys, that was their first taste of international rugby, and this week brings the even bigger challenge of France.

“We are looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in this competition at Hive Stadium. I’m sure the crowd will give the team the drive to put on an exciting performance under the Friday night lights.”

France, meanwhile, has rung the changes with no fewer than eight new faces in the starting XV.

A new-look front row sees Zinedine Aouad shift across to loosehead, with Bordeaux teammates Léo Chauvin and Zaccharie Affane joining him in the starting side. Antonin Corso and Joé Quere Karaba are promoted from the replacement bench to start at lock and on the flank respectively.

In the backs, Thomas Souverbie and Axel Despérès form an all-Pau half-back duo, the latter shifting in from inside centre. Another Pau player, Fabien Brau-Boirie, comes in at outside centre, with Xan Mousques and Maxence Biasotto coming into the back three.

France head coach Sébastien Calvet said: “We were beaten, disappointed but not broken and we will head to Scotland to try to bounce back and stay in contention in the tournament. Despite the result, the players showed a lot of character against Ireland with a more complete game than we produced a year ago on the opening day in Italy. We will have to stick together and learn the lessons from our first game to go and take on Scotland on their own pitch.”

Teams:

Scotland U20: 15. Fergus Watson, 14. Kerr Johnston, 13. Geordie Gwynn, 12. Kerr Yule, 11. Amena Caqusua, 10. Isaac Coates, 9. Murdoch Lock; 1. Robbie Deans, 2. Elliot Young, 3. Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, 4. Theo Currie, 5. Ruaraidh Hart, 6. Liam McConnell (c), 7. Freddy Douglas, 8. Jonny Morris. Replacements: 16. Jerry Blyth-Lafferty, 17. Callum Smyth, 18. Ryan Whitefield, 19. Ryan Burke, 20. Archie Clarke, 21. Monroe Job, 22. Hector Patterson, 23. Jack Hocking.

France U20: 15. Xan Mousques, 14. Maxence Biasotto, 13. Fabien Brau-Boirie, 12. Robin Taccola, 11. Hoani Bosmorin, 10. Axel Despérès, 9. Thomas Souverbie; 1. Zinedine Aouad, 2. Léo Chauvin, 3. Zaccharie Affane, 4. Corentin Mézou, 5. Antonin Corso, 6. Patrick Tuifua, 7. Joé Quere Karaba, 8. Mathis Castro-Ferreira (c). Replacements: 16. Lyam Akrab, 17. Léo Ametlla, 18. Adam-Mountaga Bouaré, 19. Charly Gambini, 20. Sialevailea Tolofua, 21. Lucas Zamora, 22. Jean Cotarmanac’h, 23. Simeli Daunivucu.