White hails talented trio

De Luca, Barclay and Lamont impress Scottish skipper

Last Updated: 01/02/08 8:15am

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White: Has faith in young stars

White: Has faith in young stars

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Captain Jason White has back Scotland's young guns to rise to the challenge against France in the RBS Six Nations opener against France.

The likes Nick De Luca, John Barclay and Rory Lamont have worked their way into the starting XV to face the new-look French - and White believes the trio are the future of the side.

De Luca is set to make his debut in the centres, Barclay will win only his second cap, while Lamont is still only 25.

And White is impressed with what he has seen so far from them.

"Rory is a young guy at full-back and he can be a real attacking threat for us; and then there are the two notable youngsters - Nick at outside centre and John at open-side flanker - who look like class players," said White.

"It is obviously harder playing international rugby than it is for the pro-teams, so there will be more pressure on them, but I am 100 per cent sure that they are equipped for the task and that they both [Barclay and De Luca] have long international careers ahead of them.

Mature

"John seems very mature and level-headed, and when he played in the World Cup against Richie McCaw he fronted up really well, so I have no doubts about him whatsoever.

"I have not spent as much time with Nick, all I know is that he looks like a very, very talented footballer."

Coach Frank Hadden's decision to turn to youth means that some more experienced players have been pushed aside - including Chris Paterson.

The Gloucester back has paid the price for a lack of game time at Kingsholm - and this despite his faultless performances at the World Cup.

However White insists Paterson can still play a key role off the bench.

He said: "Chris is our most experienced player, he poses an attacking threat, and he is an outstanding goal-kicker.

"I know he was disappointed not to be in the starting team but his attitude and the way he approached the game this week has been excellent.

"I'm sure he'll get some game time on Sunday, either in the back three or at stand-off, and he is the sort of guy who can come on and make a difference, perhaps by spotting a gap and exploiting some tired French players in the second half."

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