IT has been a long, hard 29-days confined to a tight bubble based in a Holiday Inn right next door to Cardiff Arms Park, and a sequence of four heavy defeats from the first four games in this summer’s condensed Six Nations programme means that there has been very little light relief for the Scotland Under-20s team – but head coach Sean Lineen says he is confident that his young charges are mentally ready to break their duck in their final match of the campaign against Wales tonight.

The young Scots have lost those four games by an average of 28.5 points per match, but their opponents are vulnerable too, having lost three matches on then bounce by an average of 29 points per game since their opening weekend victory over Italy, and Lineen believes that his players are not far away from piecing together the sort of consistent performance which is required over the full 80 minutes to win games at this level. 

“Their heads have never dipped,” said the 1990 Grand Slam winner. “We all know that this is a particularly young group, and that we are missing some of our most experienced players, so it has been tough, but I believe they will be better players and better equipped to be successful in this sport from the experience.  

“There were good periods of play [against France] last week, with our physicality showing through with three tries from our forwards," he added. 

“They’ve trained the best they have since we’ve been here during the last couple of days and the guys just need to go out and give a really good account of themselves.

“A lot of their families are coming down to watch as well, which is great, so I just want to see them put in a really good performance which I believe will be good enough to get them the victory they deserve. 

“Wales are always aggressive, and they always have skilful backs, that’s what they are renowned for.

"They have Sam Castelow at 10 who has played regularly for Llanelli Scarlets, so they’ll want to play rugby, but like us they have a few young guys in there who are learning on the job.”  

Scotland U20s (v Wales at Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Tuesday @ 8pm): Alex Clayton (Bath University); Finlay Callaghan (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors), Scott King (Heriot’s Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby), Michael Gray (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors), Ollie Melville (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors); Cameron Scott (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby), Murray Redpath (Newcastle University); Michael Jones (Boroughmuir Bears), Patrick Harrison (Southern Knights / Edinburgh Rugby), Corey Bowker (Leeds Becket University), Euan Ferrie (Glasgow Hawks), Alex Samuel (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN, Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter University), Harri Morris (Southern Knights), Ben Muncaster (Watsonians Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby).  

Replacements: Jamie Drummond (Ayrshire Bulls), Cole Lamberton (Watsonians Rugby / Edinburgh Rugby), George Breese (Stirling Wolves), Max Williamson* (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Rhys Tait (Southern Knights), Rory Jackson (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors), Euan Cunningham (Stirling County / Glasgow Warriors), Christian Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls), Elliot Gourlay (Sale Sharks), Thomas Glendinning (Glasgow Hawks), Adam Scott (GHA).