Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie will play for Scotland - Solomons

By Bryn PalmerBBC Sport Scotland
Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie (centre) smiles after victory over Scarlets at Murrayfield last Sunday
Ritchie (centre) will start his third game in a row after victory over Scarlets last week
Pro 12 - Edinburgh v Connacht
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Friday, 4 March Kick-off: 19:35 GMT Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two Scotland. Live scores on the BBC Sport website

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons believes teenage flanker Jamie Ritchie is destined to play for Scotland.

The Dundee-born forward, 19, who starred for Scotland Under-20s in their recent win over England, has only started five matches for Edinburgh.

"I think he will play for Scotland, I have no doubt whatsoever," Solomons said. "He is a terrific player.

"He is a good footballer, intelligent, has a fantastic work-rate and could definitely play six, seven or eight."

Ritchie, who captained Scotland's Under-18 side, has profited in recent weeks from an injury to captain Mike Coman - who is leaving at the end of the season to join London Irish.

The teenager was contracted straight from Perth's Strathallan School last season into Edinburgh's senior squad, and starts his fifth game out of six on Friday against Pro 12 leaders Connacht at Murrayfield.

"I am really enjoying the opportunity to play," he said. "The exposure has done a lot for my confidence.

"I don't find myself getting quite as nervous now. I feel more confident in my role and knowing I can cope physically at this level."

Blair Kinghorn kicks at goal for Edinburgh against Scarlets
Full-back Blair Kinghorn showed a cool head for Edinburgh in their win against Scarlets

Ritchie may only have 12 senior games on his CV, but he is happy to contemplate the prospect of a Scotland call-up.

"Hopefully it happens as quickly as possible," he said. "I just need to keep working hard.

"If I keep getting consistent game time for Edinburgh, hopefully I will do enough to show the Scotland coaches what I can do. I am still young but everyone is in a rush so we will see."

Ritchie, not 20 until August, is one of eight youngsters in Edinburgh's starting side on Friday to have come through the ranks in the past two years.

Another is full-back Blair Kinghorn, also 19, who makes only his fourth senior start after kicking 14 points in last Sunday's 24-23 win over Scarlets.

"He was a schoolboy last year and now he is starting for Edinburgh," Solomons noted. "But that is marvellous - it's what it is all about.

"These guys are the future of the club and it is brilliant they are getting these opportunities.

"Blair has got a good temperament. He's a fairly phlegmatic, chilled guy and has done really well."

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