Edinburgh open their Bank of Scotland Schools Under-18 Inter-district championship campaign tonight at Philiphaugh, where they face a South side that has made a good start to the event.

Two weeks ago South showed their skilful back play with a comfortable 28-13 win over North Schools at the Greenyards. South's win now looks all the better in the light of North's historic victory by 15-14 against Midlands at Inverness last Monday.

South have strengthened their side for the game against Edinburgh with the return of flanker George McDougall, who plays in an all Earlston High School back-row trio in which Kelly Brown, the younger brother of Scottish Schools cap Rowan Brown, will be watched by the national selectors. Also under close scrutiny will be centre Stephen Cranston, of Hawick High School.

South Schools - M Fleming (Kelso HS); S Lightbody (Jedburgh GS), E Polson (Jedburgh GS), S Cranston (Hawick HS), C MacRae (Galashiels Academy). S Laing (Jedburgh GS), A Moore (Peebles HS); C Mackenzie (Hawick HS), M Bell (Eyemouth HS), A Clark (Peebles HS), A Bruce (Hawick HS), A Ralston (Kelso HS), G McGougall (Earlston HS), K Brown (Earlston HS), A Fox (Earlston HS). Replacements I Wilson (Galashiels Academy), C Reid (Hawick HS), A Moffat (Peebles HS), J Pryde (Peebles HS), C Kilshaw (Peebles HS), C Robertson (Eyemouth HS), C MacAskill (Selkirk HS).

Edinburgh Schools - D Wilson (George Watson's Coll); M Teague (George Heriot's School), G Moffat (Balerno HS), M Dey (Stewart's-Melville Coll), R Crichton (Merchiston); P Godman (Merchiston), M Blair (Edinburgh Academy); S Rowan (Stewart's-Melville Coll), O Daly (George Heriot's School), A Malloy (Merchiston), P Keith (Stewart's-Melville Coll), C Sutherland (Balerno HS), D Teague (Edinburgh Academy), R Halliday (Merchiston), G Hoare (Stewart's-Melville Coll). Replacements - W Scott (Merchiston), H Ng (George Watson's Coll), R Welsh (Trinity Academy), R Aitchison (Merchiston), R More (George Heriot's School), N Miller (Fettes Coll), T Scott (Loretto).

Meanwhile, rugby and local government have come together to address the lack of players in state schools in Greenock, Gourock, and Port Glasgow.

Inverclyde Council's Department of Education Services and the Scottish Rugby Union have arranged for 160 S1 pupils and eight teachers to go to Fort Matilda for a day of coaching and