Scotland Under-20 Six Nations squad Olujare Oguntibeju catches the eye of Gregor Townsend

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Scotland Under-20 squad Olujare Oguntibeju pictured when he signed for Ealing Trailfinders Academy.

The age bracket tournament mirrors the senior men’s event and the young Scots kick off their campaign at home to England at Edinburgh’s DAM Health Stadium on Friday 4 February (8pm).

With the Scots finishing bottom of the table last year and England completing a Grand Slam, it could be a discouraging start for some, but it looks like 19-year-old Oguntibeju will take it all in stride if he is. selected.

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The Nigerian-born striker spent his late teens in South Africa, but lived in Edinburgh from the age of two to 14 and attended St Augustine High School for a time.

While in the Scottish capital he played a lot of football and basketball, but when he was in South Africa the coaches were able to see his natural size and rugby ability and it became a huge focus for him.

At the start of the 2020/21 season, then aged 18, he had a trial with Edinburgh Rugby and, in October, joined the established Ealing Trailfinders Academy in the south and is still with them.

His 12 years living in Scotland earlier in life make him qualified for Scotland and on Thursday he was one of the unselected players named by new head coach Murray in a squad of 30 for the upcoming event.

“I was actually talking to [Scotland head coach] Gregor Townsend on Olujare on Wednesday night because Gregor has been watching him a little bit as well, he really got attention,” Murray said.

“He’s a bit raw in terms of his rugby experience, but even in training the last few days you can see he’s a guy who has real athleticism, he has a huge amount of energy and passion and defensively he was winning. off the line, he wanted to ‘get into’ people and be physical and he looked great.

“We are very excited about him, I think his potential is excellent. If we can work with him and improve parts of the game from him, then he could be an excellent player.”

Other newer names in the group include full-back/centre Robin McLintock, who plays for French side Montpellier, and South African-born scrum-half Jed Gelderbloom, who has recently been training with Edinburgh.

“Robin has a good left boot on him and we think that could be very important for us and the way we want to play,” explains Murray.

“Jed seems like a decent little player, he’s a really solid scrum-half.”

With last year’s skipper Alex Samuel absent due to a shoulder injury, his Glasgow Warriors Academy teammate Rhys Tait will take Scotland to the tournament.

“Rhys leads from the front, he leads by example and this week we showed a video of the guys from last year making four tackles in 30 seconds in one game – his work rate and effort are excellent and he is really passionate about his game. Murray said of the 19-year-old from Hawick.

“He wants to do well, he wants to win and he brings a physicality, he’s an inspiring guy to have as a captain.”

Scotland squad for the 2022 Under-20 Six Nations

Mikey Jones (Heriot Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)

Tom Banatvala (Durham University)

Ali Rogers (Glasgow Falcons)

Callum Norrie (Strthallan School)

Olly Frostick (Ealing Trailfinders/Henley Hawks)

Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh Rugby)

Duncan Hood (University of Bath)

Max Williamson (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Josh Taylor (Ealing Trackers)

Jake Spurway (Durham University)

Tim Brown (Glasgow Falcons)

Rhys Tait (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors, C)

Innes Hill (Ealing Trailfinders)

Olujare Oguntibeju (Ealing Trailfinders)

Matt Deehan (Newcastle Falcons)

Ollie Leatherbarrow (University of Exeter)

Murray Redpath (Newcastle University)

Jonty Cope (Durham University)

Jed Gelderbloom (Edinburgh Rugby)

Christian Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors)

Euan Cunningham (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Duncan Munn (Boroughmuir Bears)

Mike Gray (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors)

Ben Salmon (Stirling Wolves)

Ross McKnight (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Ben Evans (Heriot Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)

Ollie Melville (Newcastle University)

Robin McLintock (Montpellier)

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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