Kenny Murray believes Scotland are in good shape to improve on their dire U20 Six Nations record thanks to improved professionalism and the FOSROC Future XV.

The tournament has been an unhappy hunting ground for Scotland in recent years with just one victory across the last three editions but Murray hopes that can change this time around with players getting more experience at a higher level. The team was established to bridge the gap to the professional game.

Murray wants to see more players playing professional rugby but he understands the difficulties of Glasgow and Edinburgh being able to do that when there are only two clubs based in Scotland at that level compared to the likes of England and France where there is more opportunities for younger players.

He said: “It’s pretty obvious that playing in the super series and at a higher level is preparing you better for Six Nations Rugby, it was obviously a real challenge for the guys making that step up from week to week, particularly from a physical perspective for front five players but a real worthwhile exercise. People will look at the scores and particularly the two high scores against Stirling but we were ahead at half time in a number of games so the scoreline doesn’t really matter to me, it was about the performance and game time at a higher level.

“I watched the European Cup at the weekend and there was U20 players playing across it. I’d rather we get a baptism of fire in the futures rather than waiting to play against France to get it.

“We’re in a better place and have a lot of guys coming back from last season that have experienced Six Nations rugby, with Liam being one of them as our captain. We’ve played futures, we’re in a better place physically, we’ve got guys in full time rugby environment. We’ve got a lot more players in pro academies through Glasgow and Edinburgh so I think we’re in a better place but everyone else will be. France U20s will be in a better place, they’ve got guys running about for Lyon and Bordeaux every week so as much as we’re developing, others will be as well.”