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Depleted U20s under the cosh

THE list of injured men that coach Mike Ruddock has had to soldier on without cannot be overstated for a country with such a small player base.

Ruddock has brought in full-back Darragh Leader, fly-half Steve Crosbie and openside Josh van der Flyer to the side that scalped England 16-15 last time out.

Usually, Scotland do not present the greatest challenge at the U20 age grade. It is a little different this year. They ran England close, 17-6, at Plymouth and neatly side-stepped Italy 30-17 at Netherdale.

Coach Sean Lineen makes four changes to that XV, with the aid of a large pack of forwards, led by Jonny Gray, the younger brother of full international Richie.

Verdict: Scotland

Scotland: R Young; D Hoyland, C Auld, R Ferguson, R Hughes; T Allen, S Hidalgo-Clyne; J Bhatti, C Black, P Cringle, A Sinclair, J Gray (capt), A Henderson, W Bordill, A Ashe.

Ireland: D Leaders; D Panter, T Daly, R Scannell, R Scholes; S Crosbie, L McGrath (capt); P Dooley, G McGuigan, C Taylor, G Thornbury, J Donnan, P Timmins, J van der Flyer, R Murphy.