Scotland under-18s showed promising signs and battled hard before losing out 31-17 to England at Preston Grasshoppers on Sunday.

It ended a poor weekend for Scots’ representative sides with the full side, the Women and the under-20s also losing.

The under-18s scored two tries in Lancashire and they will now build towards the upcoming International Series which begins in April and will also feature Ireland, Wales, Italy and Canada.

Skipper Euan McLaren said: “We fell down on the set-piece, but there were some promising signs in attack and we will look to build on these positives going forward.

“It’s a huge honour playing for your country at this age level and as a squad, we are now looking forward to our next challenge at the International Series.”

England went ahead through an early try, but then Harry Butler crashed over after 15 minutes for Scotland. Ross Thompson added the extras and they were 7-5 up.

An Aaron Hinkley try, converted by Tom Hardwick converting to claim back the lead and they led at half-time 12-7.

Hardwick grabbed England’s third try just after the interval before Thompson charged down a clearance kick and scored a converted effort to get Scotland right back into things.

In the 50th minute Cameron Redpath gathered to touch down for England before a Thompson penalty kept Scotland in things.

Tom Seabrook drove over for England’s fifth try which Hardwick converted in the 60th minute and things finished 31-17.

The night before in Northampton, England’s bonus-point victory secured the under-20s 6 Nations title, but they did not have it all their own way at Franklin’s Gardens against a stubborn Scottish side.

In the end England won 33-5, Hawick winger Darcy Graham on the scoresheet for Scotland.

England Women were too powerful for Scotland that same day, Kay Wilson scoring a Championship-best seven tries as they won 64-0 at the Twickenham Stoop.

Thanks to Scottish Rugby’s Twitter feed for the photo of the under-18s

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