Grove brothers set for Italian Jobs

Worcester Warriors centre Alex Grove has been handed the chance to show his hunger and Test credentials by being named in the Scotland A side to face Italy A in Biella on Friday evening (kick off 7pm UK time).

Following the defeat at Ireland Wolfhounds earlier in the month, the Scotland A team has been reshuffled with a starting line-up which now has an average age of 25 and contains just seven capped internationalists.

Wing Simon Webster, who has 37 senior caps for Scotland, is the most experienced player in the side while up-and-coming players, Grove, Kyle Traynor, Richie Gray and Richie Vernon have less than a handful of Test appearances each.

Meanwhile, Warriors Academy prospect Ollie Grove – Alex’s younger brother – is named in the Scotland Under 20 team to face Italy in the third match of the 6 Nations campaign in Sardinia tomorrow (Friday, kick-off 2pm GMT).

Having come through a mentally tough 8-8 draw with France and a 20-12 defeat to Wales – despite being two tries a-piece – Scotland under-20 head coach, Eamon John, is confident his players have what it takes to do the Italian job.

“There’s a real buzz in the squad after having a week off. It’s been good to have them all back in. Training has gone well this week and we’re looking forward to Friday

Scotland A team:

15 Colin Gregor (Glasgow Warriors)
14 Mark Robertson (Edinburgh)
13 Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors)
12 John Houston (Edinburgh)
11 Simon Webster (Edinburgh)
10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors)
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh) CAPTAIN

1 Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors)
2 Andrew Kelly (Edinburgh)
3 Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh)
4 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
5 Scott MacLeod (Edinburgh)
6 James Eddie (Glasgow Warriors)
7 Scott Gray (Northampton Saints)
8 Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements
16 Fergus Thomson (Glasgow Warriors)
17 Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors)
18 Craig Hamilton (Edinburgh)
19 Roddy Grant (Edinburgh)
20 Mark McMillan (Glasgow Warriors)
21 David Blair (Edinburgh)
22 Peter Murchie (Glasgow Warriors)

Scotland U20 team to play Italy:

15 Tom Brown (Edinburgh Accies)
14 Oliver Grove (Worcester Warriors)
13 Jonny Kennedy (Sale Sharks)
12 Alex Dunbar (Selkirk)
11 Dougie Fife (Currie)
10 Alex Blair (Edinburgh Accies)
9 Alex Black (Leeds Carnegie)

1 Nicky Little (Hawick)
2 Alun Walker (Currie)
3 Colin Phillips (Stewart’s-Melville
4 Matthew Reid (Heriot’s)
5 Robert Harley (West of Scotland)
6 Michael Maltman (Heriot’s)
8 Stuart McInally CAPTAIN (Watsonians)
7 David Denton (Edinburgh Accies)

Replacements
16 Lindsey Gibson (Melrose)
17 George Hunter (Glasgow Hawks)
18 Aaron Hall (Newcastle Falcons)
19 Callum Stidston-Nott (London Scottish)
20 Kris Hamilton (Caithness)
21 Matthew Scott (Currie)
22 James Johnstone (Currie)