London Scottish back-row forward Tommy Spinks says captaining Scotland Under-20s in this season’s RBS Six Nations Championship will be “a massive honour.”
The 19-year-old was unveiled as captain on Tuesday ahead of Friday’s Six Nations opener against Ireland in Athlone, 7.05pm kick-off.
Spinks takes over from Jonny Gray who was captain of the Under-20s squad last season.
He said: “When Head coach Sean Lineen asked if I wanted to be captain, I told him it would be a massive honour and a privilege.
“It was a great moment for myself and now that I have got the captaincy I need to make the most of it.
“The Under-20s had their most successful season last year but we had opportunities to do even better.
“We finished fourth but if we had beaten France in the last game we would have finished second.
“Jonny Gray was captain last year and did a brilliant job on and off the pitch and I have big shoes to fill.
“It’s case of trying to leave Scotland Under-20s in an even better position than we were in last season.”
Sean Lineen added: “Tommy has impressed with his leadership and attitude.
“He trains like he plays – full on.
“He is tough and will lead from the front.
“The players respect him and I know he will lead the team well.”
London Scottish coach James Buckland said: “Tommy is very motivated and determined to establish himself as a professional rugby player.
“Everyone at London Scottish is delighted but not surprised his leadership qualities have been recognised at national level.”
Spinks was first spotted as a rugby player of great potential by Duncan Harrison who coached him at Edinburgh Under-16 level.
Harrison, Master in charge of rugby at Fettes College, persuaded him to move to Fettes for his final two years of schooling.
He said: “Throughout his time at Fettes, Tommy demonstrated his strong leadership skills both on and off the field and I have no doubt that he will relish this role.
“It's great to see that all Tommy's hard work is paying off and that he will be captaining a very strong Scotland U20s squad.”
– Recent London Scottish Academy recruit Buchan Richardson will also line-up beside skipper Tommy Spinks in the back-row for Scotland U-20s against Ireland U-20s on Friday evening.
Buchan was recommended to the Club by the the SRU run, Scottish Exiles Player Development Programme.