SCOTLAND U20 coach Sean Lineen is convinced some of his young squad who picked up the Six Nations Wooden Spoon will go on to play for Scotland at senior level.

Although Scotland were without a win to show from just over four weeks in a Cardiff Covid-bubble, they improved as the Six Nations Championships went on and finished with their strongest performance coming against Wales.

Lineen revealed 17 of the squad will be back at this age group level next season and he expects better things from them then – while several showed they have futures in the professional game in Scotland.

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“This group will include players who play for Scotland, definitely,” said Lineen. “There are 17 players of this squad back next season, plus a few in the wider squad who were left behind.

“To be able to have four props potentially is unheard of, which is great, a couple of young hookers, a couple of locks, a couple of back rowers, a young nine, and a couple of young 10’s.

“There have been some success stories, some Scottish qualified players such as Ollie Leatherbarrow and Archie Smeaton, as well as young Rhys Tait in the back row - there are areas we need to look at and get stronger, but lots of youngsters will have learned an awful lot and will be better for it.

“If we had had the players like Matt Currie, Jamie Dobie, Dan Gamble, Gregor Brown, Jamie Campbell, Harry Paterson and Nathan Sweeney, we would have been competitive. They are all under 20, the older group we are missing.

“There are players from last year’s group who did really well and were competitive in every game in the Six Nations and are already getting contracts, a whole lot of them.

“So this is not a weak group, we were just missing a lot of players so they were very young and I hope next year with the learning and understanding . . . for me the work starts now.”

Although the record defeat to Italy was a standout result in terms of disappointment, there were periods in all the other games when Scotland U20 put together some strong passages of play.

The lineout and resulting driving maul was a key component all the way through, there was plenty of strong defence and promising work at the breakdown.

The attack is an area which needs a lot of work. Scotland only scored two tries which did not come from the driving lineout and even those relied on that platform to start the moves.

Lineen summed up the tournament in one word – “frustrating".

“I am always fortunate and privileged to be involved in the development of young players, you can see with this group there are a lot of young lads who took a long time to understand what it is like to train at this level let alone play at this level.

“They were getting better, definitely, but – yeah - incredibly frustrating. It has been hard work, 29 to 30 days for everyone.

“We tried to make it as enjoyable as we could off the field to give everyone that experience, but it is hard to take playing five games of international rugby and not to win one - especially after all the effort that has gone in.

“But we will all learn and look forward to the Under 20 Six Nations next season which isn’t far away.”