Scotland and Italy face each other today in the third and final pool B match of World Rugby’s under-20 Championship knowing that a bonus point victory could propel the winners of this game into the semi finals of the tournament.

Both Scotland and Italy have five points from their first and second round pool matches but it would need ten championship points and favourable results elsewhere to progress to the semi finals. Neither country has ever reached the stratospheric heights of the top four but the possibility of one of today’s teams doing so makes this match a crunchissimo battle.

The flip side of the coin, however, is that defeat could land the losing team in the bottom four for the last two rounds where the name of the game is avoiding relegation to the second tier Trophy competition.

Both teams lost to New Zealand, Italy but a much greater margin, but the Azzurini scored four tries against the Baby Blacks, a rare achievement against the five times champions. Both team also defeated Ireland, Scotland by four points and Italy by one.

The Scots won 38-17 against Italy at Broadwood in the final round of the Six Nations under-20 Championship but that is unlikely to provide a pointer to today’s match. “Italy have a number of players in the World Championship who were either injured or unavailable for the Six Nations.” stated John Dalziel, the Scotland head coach.

He added : “We know, however, that they have a big physical pack and six very good front row forwards. We’ve talked a lot amongst ourselves about the Italy set-piece. It’s not just about muscle and brawn. We have to be technically at our best in the set-piece.”

The Scots will take much from their ability to bag five tries against Ireland and the manner in which they were scored. “The tries against Ireland didn’t just happen by chance. We managed to break the game up and use our strong back three.” suggested Dalziel.

Scotland faced Italy last year at the same stage in the 2016 Championship and emerged winners by 27-19 in a game remembered for a 80 metre try by Robbie Nairn.

Harlequins Academy player Nairn will again line up against the Azzurrini in a Scotland team that is little changed from the side that achieved victory over Ireland on Sunday. Dalziel has picked the same back line that was effective against the Irish and in the forward pack the coach has made three changes, all in the back row, with Tom Dodd starting in place of the injured Glasgow Hawks back row Bruce Flockhart (twisted knee) at number 8, Matt Fagerson moving to openside flanker and Luke Crosbie reverting to the blind side.

Scotland under-20 : B Kinghorn (Edinburgh); R Nairn (Harlequins), R McCann (Melrose), S McDowall (Ayr), D Graham (Hawick); C Eastgate (Wasps), A Simmers (Heriot’s); G Thornton (Bishop Burton College), F Renwick (Hawick), A Nicol (Stirling County), A Craig (Gloucester), C Hunter-Hill (Stirling County), L Crosbie (Currie), M Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), T Dodd (Worcester) Subs : R Smith (Ayr), F Bradbury (Stirling County), R Dunbar (Boroughmuir), H Bain (Currie), A Erskine (Newcastle Falcons), C Shiel (Currie), J Henderson (Glasgow Hawks), P Anderson (Melrose)

Italy under-20 : M Cioffi (S.S. Lazio Rugby 1927), A de Masi (Benetton Treviso), M Zanon (Mogliano Rugby), Dario Schiabel (Lafert San Donà),

G D'Onofrio (Rugby Benevento); A Rizzi (Mogliano Rubgy), C Trussardi (ASM Clermont Auvergne); D Fischetti (Unione Rugby Capitolina), Massimo CECILIANI (Delebio Rugby), G Licata (Miraglia Rugby), Marco Riccioni (Patarò Calvisano), N Cannone (Florentia Rugby), Lorenzo Masselli (Sitav Rugby Lyons), Jacopo Bianchi (Vasari Arezzo), M Lamaro (S.S. Lazio Rugby 1927), Massimo Ceciliani (Delebio Rugby) Subs A Rollero (Sitav Rugby Lyons), D Rimpelli (Patarò Calvisano), D Gavrilita (Patarò Calvisano), E IachizziI (USAP Perpignan), L Manni (Mogliano Rugby), M PanunziI (Unione Rugby Capitolina), F di Marco (L'Aquila Rugby Club), A Bronzini (Rugby Viadana 1970)*