ITALY and Scotland, as in the senior competition, will both be seeking their first win in the under-20 RBS 6 Nations when they meet tonight at Stadio Omero Tognon in the north-east town of Pordenone.
Scotland's record at under-20 level against Italy is less depressing than at senior level and they will be aiming for a hat trick of wins, having won narrowly two seasons ago and more comfortably at Netherdale last year.
The Scots could take plenty from their performance, despite a 48-15 defeat by England last time out, but will be without Neil Herron, the Glasgow Hawks centre, as he has been recalled for Scotland 7s duty. His place goes to last season's under-18 captain, the Loretto pupil Richard Taylor, who will be the fourth Melrose player in the side.
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"Richard has played at centre with Blair Hutchison for Melrose, as well as Ben Chalmers and Damien Hoyland," said John Dalziel, the assistant coach. "Neil Herron was very solid against England and it's disappointing not to have him, but Richard is big and strong."
The match tonight is being played at a football stadium which means the pitch will be narrow, but mild weather conditions are expected and should favour Scotland in their quest to run the ball effectively.