THE Scotland Under-20 management team have organised loud speakers to flood the team’s indoor training base at Heriot Watt University with the crowd noises in order to help the youngsters get used to the sort of big match atmospheres they are likely to experience during this Six Nations campaign.

“With the systems that we are developing, you’d like to think their ability to cope with the physical and mental pressure will improve,” explained head coach Sean Lineen. “We’re trying to give them environments where they will be challenged.

“We have been trying to replicate the crowd noise [at training], we have done that twice now and it really gets them going.

“We did it for the Ireland game – playing Fields of Athenry and so on really loudly – and have now done it again for Italy. You can see how nervous they get and that is mental pressure.

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“They don’t play in front of big crowds a lot. The French youngsters play in front of 25,000 while we don’t, so we need to try to replicate that and make sure they learn. It would be great to learn while winning.”

The young Scots have lost both games played so far, against Ireland and England, but have shown enough potential in those matches to travel to Italy believing that they are capable of picking up a first win against the Azzurri since 2017.

“We need to get out there and do our talking on the pitch,” said Lineen. “It will be a narrow pitch – a passionate, tough and loud game.

“There are no excuses. I have been really pleased how they have rolled their sleeves up and worked hard in a tough week given the weather.”

Lineen has made three changes to the team which started against England a fortnight ago with flanker Gregor Brown, scrum-half Kyle McGhie and winger Rufus McLean – who are all attached to the Borougmuir Bears Super6 franchise – getting the nod, while Jack Hill, Roan Frostwick and Harry Paterson drop to the bench.