FIVE uncapped players feature in Gregor Townsend’s 39-man Six Nations training squad, including surprise call-ups Andy Christie (a Saracens back-rower) and Ben White (a London Irish scrum-half).
Glasgow Warriors flanker Rory Darge, Edinburgh scrum-half Ben Vellacott and London Irish winger Kyle Rowe are also in the frame for international debuts in Scotland’s first game of the championship on Saturday 5th February against England.
Christie represented Scotland at youth level, playing for the Under-16s, and the 22-year-old has played with Saracens since 2018.
White, aged 23, who captained England at Under-20s level and played for the senior England side in a non-cap match against the Barbarians in 2019, signed for London Irish last year from Leicester Tigers and featured in their victory over Edinburgh Rugby last weekend.
Rowe has also impressed for London Irish in the Premiership this season, notably scoring a hat-trick against Saracens and was previously a member of the Scotland 7s and U20s teams.
Following his memorable debut against England last year, Cameron Redpath made his comeback for Bath last weekend after eight months out with a knee injury and will once again be in contention ahead of the Six Nations opener.
Autumn debutants Ewan Ashman, Jamie Hodgson, Josh Bayliss, Javan Sebastian, Pierre Schoeman, Rufus McLean and Sione Tuipulotu all received their first Scotland caps and are included once again.
Elsewhere there are call-ups for Edinburgh pair back-row Magnus Bradbury and prop WP Nel who missed out on selection for the Autumn Nations, while fit again Exeter Chiefs lock Jonny Gray and Worcester Warriors prop Rory Sutherland also return.
Northampton centre Rory Hutchinson also earns a squad selection having not featured for Scotland in 2021. Stuart Hogg once again captains his country.
However, there is no room for experienced hooker Fraser Brown, who made his comeback for Glasgow Warriors after three months out with a knee injury a fortnight ago. Gloucester stand-off Adam Hastings, Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble, Glasgow Warriors scrum-halves George Horne and Jamie Dobie, Edinburgh centre James Lang and Saracens wing Sean Maitland also miss out.
The squad will meet up at Oriam on this Monday for a training camp before reconvening the following week ahead of the Calcutta Cup clash.
“When you look through the squad this is the most competitive I’ve seen it in so many areas and that’s testament to the strength and depth we have,” said Townsend.
“We are able to call-up several new players into the squad such as Andy Christie, Kyle Rowe and Ben White. We have been aware of all of the uncapped players for a while now and recently they have all experienced a breakthrough in terms of their performances at club level.
“A key part of the squad selection was rewarding form and that definitely applies to Ben Vellacott and Rory Darge who have been excellent for their clubs this season.
“We’re delighted to be able to include Cameron Redpath in the squad after missing the last few months with injury. He managed to get a game under his belt prior to the squad selection so we’ll see how he performs for Bath and in our training over the next couple of weeks.”
Scotland Six Nations Squad –
- Ewan Ashman – Sale Sharks – 2 caps
- Josh Bayliss – Bath Rugby – 2 caps
- Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 22 caps
- Magnus Bradbury – Edinburgh Rugby – 14 caps
- Andy Christie – Saracens – uncapped
- Scott Cummings – Glasgow Warriors – 21 caps
- Rory Darge – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
- Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 17 caps
- Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 42 caps
- Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby – 48 caps
- Jonny Gray – Exeter Chiefs – 64 caps
- Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 10 caps
- Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby – 3 caps
- Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 43 caps
- WP Nel – Edinburgh Rugby – 43 caps
- Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby – 31 caps
- Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – 4 caps
- Javan Sebastian – Scarlets – 1 cap
- Sam Skinner – Exeter Chiefs – 15 caps
- Rory Sutherland – Worcester Warriors – 16 caps
- George Turner – Glasgow Warriors – 20 caps
- Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 45 caps
- Mark Bennett – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps
- Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps
- Chris Harris – Gloucester Rugby – 31 caps
- Stuart Hogg – Exeter Chiefs – 88 caps – Captain
- Rory Hutchinson – Northampton Saints – 5 caps
- Sam Johnson – Glasgow Warriors – 21 caps
- Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 28 caps
- Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – 2 caps
- Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors – 46 caps
- Cameron Redpath – Bath Rugby – 1 cap
- Kyle Rowe – London Irish – uncapped
- Finn Russell – Racing 92 – 58 caps
- Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors – 3 caps
- Sione Tuipulotu- Glasgow Warriors – 1 cap
- Duhan van der Merwe – Worcester Warriors – 13 caps
- Ben Vellacott – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
- Ben White – London Irish – uncapped