Four uncapped call-ups for Scotland Six Nations training squad

Cameron Redpath, Ewan Ashman, Alex Craig and Dave Cherry named in 35 player group

Alex Craig during his Scotland Under-20s days back in 2016. Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Alex Craig during his Scotland Under-20s days back in 2016. Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

CAMERON REDPATH, Ewan Ashman, Alex Craig and Dave Cherry are the four uncapped players named in Gregor Townsend’s 35 man Six Nations training squad, ahead of Scotland’s Championship opener away to England on 6th November.

There is also recalls for Allan Dell, Grant Stewart, Gary Graham and Byron McGuigan, who were not involved during the Autumn.

Stuart McInally, who is awaiting an expert opinion on a neck injury sustained during training last week, is not named in the group. Other notable omissions include Sam Johnson, Duncan Weir, Sam Skinner, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Rory Hutchinson, Ben Toolis, Cornell du Preez and Nick Haining.


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“As coaches we have selected a group which we believe can build on the work our players put in throughout the recent Autumn Nations Cup campaign and kick on again in terms of performance levels,” said Townsend.

“The depth we have across the squad enables us to bring in some new players who have excelled in recent weeks and others who we believe can perform at Test level.

“Our tournament gets off to a fantastic start with a fixture we look forward to every year against England and the opportunity to win back the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.

“We are very aware how different this year’s competition will be due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it also provides a huge amount of positivity and enjoyment for millions of supporters and we are looking forward to contesting every match and giving this championship our very best.”

Youngsters Jamie Dobie (Glasgow scrum-half), Rufus McLean (Glasgow winger) and Rory Darge (Edinburgh flanker) have been invited to train with the squad.

England deal with Covid diagnosis

England’s preparation for the Six Nations has suffered a setback with head coach Eddie Jones being forced to self-isolate for 10 days after his assistant Matt Proudfoot tested positive for coronavirus. Simon Amor, another assistant coach, is also self-isolating.

Jones is not displaying any symptoms and, if he returns a negative at the next round of testing, he will join up with the squad at St George’s Park next Thursday, the day after the players are scheduled to come into camp.

England also lost the services of skills coach Jason Ryles earlier this week, who has chosen not to travel from Australia to London with his family due to the lockdown in place in the United Kingdom. That leaves defence coach John Mitchell as the only front-line member of Jones’ coaching team not currently affected by Covid-19.

The England squad will be announced on Friday.

SCOTLAND SQUAD FOR 2021 GUINNESS SIX NATIONS:

FORWARDS (20)

Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) – Uncapped
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 28 caps
David Cherry (Edinburgh) – Uncapped
Alex Craig (Gloucester) – Uncapped
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Allan Dell  (London Irish) – 32 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 42 caps
Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 61 caps
Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps
Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 40 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 9 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 36 caps

BACKS (15)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 23 caps
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) CAPTAIN – 80 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 26 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
James Lang (Harlequins) – 5 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 50 caps
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 10 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps
Cameron Redpath – (Bath Rugby) – Uncapped
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 51 caps
Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 1 cap
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 28 caps
Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 5 caps


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 2212 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

32 Comments

  1. A well-known journalist – when refraining from bombastic, melodramatic language, “thunderous” et al – summarised it well, Graham is “rough-house”, i.e exactly what we require in the face of a potential battering at Twickenham, as is Turner to a degree. Said source, also closely-aligned to Irish rugby,furthermore described Haining upsetting Ireland’s players in the nip-and-tuck game in Dublin, Ireland players confiding that they did not enjoy playing him because of the niggle and physical presence he brought. By no coincidence we had at least forward parity in that game. The old tactic of attempting to out-run teams through fielding mobile forwards and pulling opponent packs all over the park have been proven not to work for years now.

  2. Ryan Wilson has cause to feel hard done by given his excellent consistent form. Hes the glaringly obvious choice at 8

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    • Except a backrow with Watson, Wilson and Ritchie/Barclay has been consistently overpowered by Ireland, England, Wales and France. There’s no doubt Wilson deserves great credit for his contributions to Glasgow this season though.

  3. My primary concern is that Townsend doesn’t see Skinner as a more likely member of the match day squad than Gilchrist, R Gray or Craig.

  4. The positives- Redpath in, Graham in, Russell finally back fit and primed to lead the side from our half, Richie Gray back in the mix, Du Preez gone

    The negatives- Brown and McInally both injured is tough on us, Blade Thomson not what we need, Hastings not being fit, Hutchison ignored again, no Hidalgo Clyne

    My 23 for England away in two weeks time is as follows:

    1- Sutherland
    2- Turner
    3- Zander F
    4- Jonny G
    5- Cummings
    6- Ritchie
    7- Watson
    8- Graham
    9- Price
    10- Russell
    11- Van Der Merwe
    12- Taylor
    13- Jones
    14- Maitland
    15- Hogg

    16- Kebble
    17- Cherry
    18- Berghan
    19- Richie G
    20- Matt F
    21- Steele
    22- Harris
    23- Graham

  5. Reality check on Kebble required, didn’t impress at all in the Autumn. He’ll get another chance during the 6 nations but still got a lot to prove at this level. Ritchie Gray was superb at the lineout in 1st game against Edinburgh but his scrummaging remains suspect. Not a starter, could be a great finisher though.

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  6. Weir has his limitations, so I can understand why van der Walt gets the nod ahead of him. I had thought Redpath was already involved in the England set-up, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see him in the squad. It’s a disappoitnment to see Hutchinson miss out and Hidalgo Clyne is perhaps unlucky too, but perhaps both need more club game time to convince Townsend they deserve to be included. As ever, I anticipate some head scratching with Townsend’s starting XV and tactics, but Russell is a reassuring presence who can sort that out. On form, Gary Graham has to be a serious contender to start.

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  7. For England.

    1. Oli Kebble, 2. George Turner, 3. Zander Fagerson 4. Scott Cummings 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Matt Fagerson, 9. Ali Price, 10. Finn Russell, 11. Duhan Van Der Merwe, 12. Duncan Taylor, 13. Chris Harris, 14. Sean Maitland, 15. Stuart Hogg

    16. Dave Cherry, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Grant Gilchrist, 20. Blade Thomson, 21. Scott Steele, 22. Jaco Van Der Valt, 23. Huw Jones

  8. My team for England:

    1. Oli Kebble
    2. George Turner
    3. Zander Fagerson
    4. Scott Cummings
    5. Jonny Gray
    6. Jamie Ritchie
    7. Hamish Watson
    8. Matt Fagerson
    9. Ali Price
    10. Finn Russell
    11. Duhan Van Der Merwe
    12. Duncan Taylor
    13. Chris Harris
    14. Sean Maitland
    15. Stuart Hogg

    16. Dave Cherry
    17. Rory Sutherland
    18. Simon Berghan
    19. Grant Gilchrist
    20. Blade Thomson
    21. Scott Steele
    22. Jaco Van Der Valt
    23. Huw Jones

    I don’t think this is the game to blood many youngsters, Cherry, Steele and Van Der Valt are all very fresh as it is.

    Kebble ahead of Sutherland due to combinations.

  9. Bring it on!

    I think Russell-Redpath could be the start of a bright new future for us all. United #AsOne.

  10. What with the injuries and those left out, rightly or otherwise, it is encouraging to see some depth around Scottish Rugby.

  11. great to see redpath in, will link up very well with the rugby russell plays, if he is given the chance.

    gary graham been on great form this season so far would love to see him translate that internationally

    sam johnsons omission is puzzling but then again im not the head coach (thank god)

    • Only two nines! Not sure about Steele, SHC very unlucky in my view. Gilchrist & Kinghorn need to up their game to justify selection. Best of luck boys.

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  12. Always 1 step forward 2 steps back with this coach. Alex Craig over Skinner? Steele over Hidalgo-Clyne?
    No Hutchison or Bennett or Johnson in preference of Lang?!

    Graham and Redpath are positives, and no arguments with Russell yet.

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  13. Surprised van der Walt is in ahead of Weir, and shame not to see Scott back in reckoning at centre (esp as Taylor barely played recently and not seen much from Lang) but centres generally look better than Autumn choices. Bringing Graham in makes absolute sense given no 8 has stood out yet

  14. Can’t understand how R Gray and especially Gilchrist can get the nod over Skinner. Having both Skinner and Graham on the pitch together would bring an edge and presence that the other nations have, that we continually lack and that neither Gilchrist or Gray can offer.

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    • Once again Gregor has taken the decision to not pick the best players….
      Harris isn’t international level and the fact Weir isn’t in the squad ahead of Van Der Walter Mitty….

      Can’t wait for another year of disappointment on the 6 nations.

      I for one would take 6 months more of lockdown to see Gregor relieved of his duty now!

      fingers crossed it’s not another wooden spoon

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      • Harris isnt international class? Absolute nonsense. He’s regarded as a Lions bolter in England due to his form with Gloucester. And was one of Scotland’s successes in the Autumn.

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    • It’s to do with Covid sadly.

      Players from England he selects in the overall squad but not the match-day team have to be released or something back to their clubs. So if he is not seeing Hidalgo-Clyne or Skinner as regulars in the test team then it causes covid risks. Same reason Weir/Du Preez/Cowan not selected i suspect.

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      • If its to do with Covid why are Dell, Lang, Craig and McGuigan in the squad, or do you think all of those will be in the starting 23?

      • My primary concern is that Townsend doesn’t see Skinner as a more likely member of the match day squad than Gilchrist, R Gray or Craig.

      • With Townsend, my analogy is that of a mechanic thinking that he’s going to get top performance by fine tuning the engine but overlooking that he needs to fit wheels to the car.

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  15. Completely agree David, we need someone with Graham’s edge, assuming he can control it properly. Best team for me :1)Kebble 2)Turner 3)Fagerson,Grays at lock 6)Ritchie 7)Watson 8)Graham 9)Price 10)Russell 11)DVM 12)Sideshow Bob 13)Jones 14)Maitland 15)Hogg. Kebble partly because of his size and ball-carrying,partly due to Sutherland’s drop in form. Only concern would be Jones’s lack of time in the saddle at centre but he has the guile to unlock defences wherever he plays.Need a big,abrasive pack for England.

  16. Cam Redpath is currently at Bath, not Sale as it says at the top.

    Some of the notable omissions like Sam Johnson are currently injured.

    In terms of team selection as always the main discussion points will be who plays 8, 12 and 13, Although I can see a debate forming around the second row options with Gray senior back in some form.

    With Johnson out I quite fancy throwing Redpath in at 12 for the England game just to troll Eddie Jones.

  17. Happy and relieved to see Gary Graham in the squad – now let’s get him in the team! Redpath owes us nothing so no judgment if he’d chosen England, but would have been so strange to see a Hastings and a Redpath on opposite sides in the Calcutta cup. Great Toonie curveball!

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