They may be outnumbered and out-financed by their rivals, but Scotland Under-20 coach Peter Wright maintains it will be a level playing field when the championship gets under way this Friday.
Scotland’s player base has shrunk over the years with more and more youngsters getting sucked up into the English club system.
But having fewer players is not always necessarily a handicap and former British and Irish Lions Wright, who is the forwards coach in the Under-20 set-up, says it has allowed the coaches to focus more attention on their leading lights including fly-half Alex Blair and centre Alex Dunbar.
And Wright is adamant there will be no excuses should they fail to match the three wins they achieved last year.
“At Under-20 level we probably have to pick from around 100 players,” he said. “You are talking guys who have played through the Under-18 and Under-19 system. There are lots of other guys who we monitor who might have left Scotland to go all over the world.
“We only have a fraction of the players that most other nations have – we don’t feel bitter it is just a fact of life.
“That is just part and parcel of the way rugby is and we have to get on with it getting players from where ever we can.
“We struggle for numbers but that makes it easier for us to get it right because we do not have as many quality players to focus on. That allows us to concentrate all our attention on a select group of players.
“The main thing in the Six Nations or the World Cup is that is 22 players versus 22 players.
“The other countries cannot use their thousands of players in a game. That’s the reason we just have to get on with it.”
The Scottish Under-20s face a huge challenge this year with trips to Italy, Ireland and Wales, countries they all defeated on home turf last year, while they host heavyweights England and France.
But all the Under-20 coaches led by Eamon John have benefited from increased co-operation with new Scotland boss Andy Robinson.
And Wright has welcomed former England coach Robinson’s commitment to the Scottish cause.
He said: “Frank Hadden was reasonably good and Andy Robinson opened the door for us to get and speak to him.
“He is very keen to promote an open-door policy. He has invited us a long to some coaching sessions and has chatted to us about what he wants to achieve.
“Matt Williams was disappointing because he did not give anything back to the Under-19 set-up.
“Last year we won three out of five matches so that is a 60per cent success rate and something we will try and match this year.
“That will be difficult because last year we had three home games against Wales, Italy and Ireland and this year we are away and England and France, who are by far the best teams, are at home. We struggle to match them physically.
“But fundamentally if we can train one or two guys to go up to the top teams then we are doing reasonably well.”