East Lothian Courier

The Young pretender

Ex-surfing star now on board for Scotland

- By Cameron Ritchie critchie@eastlothia­ncourier.com

A FORMER Dunbar Grammar School pupil is hoping to help Scotland on the route to under-20s Six Nations success.

Elliot Young has been named in the squad, which gets its campaign under way tomorrow (Friday) when they face Wales at Stadiwm CSM in Colwyn Bay.

Young, who grew up in Dunbar, was counting down to the kick-off before back-to-back games on Scottish soil.

He said: “The first time I put on a proper Scotland top was at under18s.

“You cannot really describe it when you are singing the national anthem.

“You are just very proud and my mum and dad were in the stands, people watching at home.

“Singing the national anthem, it does not get much better.

“Playing rugby at a young age and growing up, all I wanted to do was watch lads on television.”

Young, who left Dunbar Grammar School in S4 to move to Stewart’s Melville College, is joined in Kenny Murray’s squad by Robbie Deans, who played for both Haddington and Musselburg­h as a youngster.

Scotland’s only victory in last year’s tournament came against Wales with an 18-17 triumph at Scotstoun in Glasgow.

Nineteen-year-old Young was predicting their hosts would be looking to make a strong first impression in the 7.15pm kick-off.

He said: “They are going to come out firing.

“Neither team has won their first game in the tournament in about four or five years.

“It is two teams looking to really go at each other.

“They finished sixth in the World Rugby U20 Championsh­ip in the summer and they are in form.

“We need to match them.

“Going into the first game, we want a strong start and to put a statement down to the other teams.

“We are not here to play about; it is an important one.”

The win over Wales 12 months ago was Scotland’s first in the competitio­n since a triumph over the same opposition in March 2020.

Young, who is studying anthropolo­gy at the University of Exeter while also playing at hooker for Exeter Chiefs, was keen for better form over the next few weeks.

He told Courier Sport: “It is not a secret that at under-20 level Scotland have struggled over the last couple of years.

“Last year, we lost a couple of really close games.

“We have got a key group and a lot of backing.

“Hopefully, The Hive will be fully packed out in Edinburgh – it is a bit of a heart for Scottish rugby.

“It is good being close to home. “My mum Alison, dad Brian and sister Lucy will be there.

“Down south, it is about nine hours in the car so it is not a hop, skip and a jump.*

“I will have my whole family there watching.”

However, it was not rugby that saw Young making headlines earlier in his career.

Instead, he was a talented young surfer, even competing at world championsh­ips as a teenager.

He said: “I think I had a strong, black-and-white decision, between the two.

“I have surfed my whole life.

“My mum now runs The Wave Project in Dunbar teaching kids who need surfing and I have got my qualificat­ion and can teach it.

“I went to the World Junior Surfing Championsh­ips when I was 13 turning 14. I went to the Nordic Games in Norway a year later.

“I was about 15 when I had the choice between the too but I am too heavy now!

“I am about 18 stone and I would need a surfboard under each foot!

“I got to a point in my life where I was taking everything into account – money, opportunit­ies, the future.”

 ?? ?? Elliot Young is hoping to line up for Scotland’s under-20s during the Six Nations, which gets under way tomorrow (Friday). Image: Scottish Rugby/sns
Elliot Young is hoping to line up for Scotland’s under-20s during the Six Nations, which gets under way tomorrow (Friday). Image: Scottish Rugby/sns

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