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Academy

Academy duo star in Scotland's Toulon success (and set up England encounter!)

Holsgrove and Jules impress out in France for Scot Gemmill's men...

7 June 2017

17-year-old Academy starlet Jordan Holsgrove came off the bench to feature for Scotland's Under-20s side in a Toulon tournament win over Brazil at the weekend - and alongside Zak Jules the duo have been impressing on international duty out in France!

And after Tuesday evening's win against Indonesia, the Royals pair now have an exciting derby fixture to look forward to against their old rivals England!

Holsgrove replaced Kyle Magennis to help Scotland secure an historic 1-0 win over Brazil's youngsters as Greg Taylor’s left-foot strike secured a Group C win for Scot Gemmill's men in Stade Parsemain.

It was the first time ever that Scotland have beaten Brazil at any level, having previously faced the South American superstars ten times without success. But Holsgrove, playing three years above his age category, helped the Under-20s produce a brilliant display in Fos-Sur-Mer.

The Toulon tournament campaign had begun with a narrow 3-2 defeat to the Czech Republic last Wednesday - a game in which defender Jules (who has been plying his trade north of the border on loan with Motherwell in 2016-17) played a full part and Holsgrove featured from the bench once more.

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And the group stages came to an end on Tuesday night when Scotland secured a spot in the semi-final with a 2-1 victory over Indonesia in Vitrolles - Holsgrove came off the bench early in the second half to help turn things around after the Asian side had taken a somewhat surprising lead, and Jules was introduced late on to bolster the defence and seal the win.

Now, the small matter of the world's oldest derby... the original international fixture.  It'll be Scotland vs England in the semi-final!

The Three Lions' representative side in France is a little younger than usual, as England's Under-20 squad are currently out in South Korea for the U20 World Cup (including our goalkeeper Luke Southwood), where they most recently beat Mexico to set up a semi-final showdown with Italy.

Nevertheless it'll be a strong, talented opposition and a great challenge for Jules and Holsgrove against their 'Auld Enemy', who are looking to retain their crown after triumphing in 2016... the England squad that took the Toulon Tournament title 12 months ago featured none other than our own John Swift!

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And, of course, Swift will be back in the white jersey of his nation later this summer when the U21 Euros kick off; England are pooled with Slovakia, Sweden and host nation Poland.

In the meantime, Jules, Holsgrove and Scotland U20 will kick off against England at 4pm UK-time on Thursday in their semi-final - with the aim of helping Scotland to reach the final of the Toulon Tournament for the first time in the competition's 45th edition.