The Scottish Schools’ Under-18 Boys Cup Final will see two of the traditional powerhouses of schools’ rugby lock horns on the international pitch at Murrayfield this evening [6pm kick-off] when George Watson’s College take on Stewart’s Melville College.

The two Edinburgh schools have lifted the trophy four times each, and at least one has been in the final in 11 of the past 14 years.

While Stewart’s Melville ran out comfortable 44-19 winners when the teams met last month, George Watson’s have been more consistent over the course of the season to finish top of the Colt Conference – so a tight contest is on the cards.

“We were second best to Stew-Mel by a long shot in the Conference match, so we’ll go into the cup final as underdogs,” insisted Watson’s head coach Ally Donaldson. “But I’ve got every faith in our group of players.

"There’s a good balance in the team. The forwards are strong and we’ve got an exciting back three. The cup final is a real occasion but a lot of the boys played at Murrayfield in Under-16 cup finals during the past two years.”

Stewart’s Melville head coach Stuart Edwards has urged his team to embrace the occasion. “The message going out to the boys – and this has been the case all season – is to trust in the preparation and the hard work that has been put in,” he said.

“I hope the big pitch and the conditions at Murrayfield will suit us. The boys really want to express themselves. I’ve challenged them to be ambitious.”

If Stewart’s Melville can win a fair share of possession then have the players to exploit space, among them Christian Townsend – son of Gregor – at stand-off and the centre pairing of Matt Russell and Aidan Boyle.

Edwards, however, insists that his side’s attacking prowess is only half of the equation.

“In many ways our biggest strength this season has been defence,” he concluded. “We have a good back-row, all S5 boys. In fact, half of our squad of 22 are S5.”

The Under-16s cup final is on the main pitch immediately prior to the Under-18s match with Dollar Academy taking on Merchiston Castle (4.15pm).