SCOTLAND Under 20s head coach Carl Hogg has named his squad ahead of Friday night's clash with Italy in Galashiels.

The young Scots open their Six Nations Championship under the Netherdale floodlights.

The 32-man squad consists of 17 forwards and 15 backs, with 23 of the selected players set to make their debut at U20 level.

Included in the squad are 17 players who’ve progressed through the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy.

Prop Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), hooker Angus Fraser (Glasgow Hawks), lock Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), back-row Jack Mann (Edinburgh Accies), scrum-half Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains), centres Andrew Jardine (Melrose), Grant Hughes (Stirling County) and Ollie Smith (Ayr), as well as wingers Jack Blain (Heriot’s) and Rufus McLean (Watsonians) are all named in a Scotland U20 squad for the first time.

Props Murphy Walker (Stirling County) and Euan McLaren (Ayr), hooker Finlay Scott (Jed-Forest), lock Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), back-row Connor Boyle (Watsonians), stand-off Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks) and wing Rory McMichael (Heriot’s) are also selected after featuring in last year’s squad.

Joining the squad are a number of players who are eligible through the Scottish Qualified (SQ) programme.

Prop Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University), hooker Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), back-row pairing Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale) and Cristen van Niekerk (Lions), and centre Cameron Anderson (Wasps) are all named in the 32-man squad.

Back-rowers Jack Hill (Durham University) and Ross Bundy (Stirling County), scrum-half duo Kyle McGhie (Musselburgh) and Murray Scott (Watsonians), stand-off Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), centre Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), wing Jacob Lineen (Durham University) and fullback Matt Davidson (London Scottish) are also selected having previously represented Scotland at age-grade levels.

Carl told us: “We’ve chosen a well-rounded squad with talented players across the board.

“There are plenty of young, exciting players stepping up to U20 level for the first time in their careers and we hope that they can make a positive impact on the upcoming Six Nations Championship.

“We’ve prepared well and the focus is fully on facing Italy next week. There’s still work to be done but we’ve got every confidence in this year’s squad.”

Friday's game in Galashiels kicks off at 7.30pm.

Scotland Under 20s return to Netherdale the following Friday evening to face Ireland.