Darcy Graham on course for Calcutta Cup comeback as Scotland release seven players to Edinburgh

The winger will not be involved against Zebre on Friday but Sean Everitt believes he should be ready to play against England eight days later.

Darcy Graham
Darcy Graham in action against England at Murrayfield in 2022. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

DARCY GRAHAM is stepping up his training routine this week, and, although he will not be involved in Edinburgh’s URC match at Zebre on Friday, he is on course to return to the Scotland line-up to face England on Saturday week according to club coach Sean Everitt. 

The winger has not played since injuring a quad against Gloucester last month, but Everitt is convinced that he will be ready for the Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield. “Darcy is on his return-to-play week,” Everitt said today [Monday]. “Medically they feel he just needs another week of full training. He should be up and ready to go next week. If selected he would be ready to play against England – if he gets through this week of training unscathed.”  

Everitt will by no means have his full complement of fit Scotland squad members available to him, with Pierre Schoeman, Ewan Ashman, Grant Gilchrist, Sam Skinner and Duhan van der Merwe all retained by national coach Gregor Townsend. But he has got seven players back, spread pretty evenly throughout the team.


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Of the seven, four are forwards: tighthead props WP Nel and Javan Sebastian (both in need of game-time after injury), lock Glen Young, and flanker and former Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie. The three backs are scrum-half Ali Price, stand-off Ben Healy and full-back Harry Paterson, who made his Test debut in Saturday’s 16-20 defeat by France and justified his coach’s faith in him with an impressive display.

“Harry will be in contention to start – it’s just whether we select him on the wing or at full-back,” Everitt continued. “He’s been impressive in his performances for Edinburgh. I didn’t expect any less of him with the opportunity he got on Saturday, and we’re just really proud that he got that opportunity first of all through good performances for the club. He can be very proud of his debut performance.

“What’s great about him is it will give him a lot of confidence knowing that he’s got his first cap under the belt, and from there he can just go from strength to strength. We all know he’s got loads of potential, and the more he plays at that level, the better he’s going to get.

“I don’t think he is a player that’s going to get big-headed. He’s only had one Test cap and he’s only played a handful of games for Edinburgh this season. He knows where he is as a rugby player and he knows there are improvements to make. He is a humble boy.”

 

While Paterson has enjoyed rapid promotion to the Test arena, Ritchie has suffered an almost equally dramatic demotion, from captain to vice-captain (and still playing from the start) to not even being in the matchday 23.  However, Everitt is sure that both Ritchie and Hamish Watson – who was not even selected by Gregor Townsend for the wider Six Nations squad – will fight every inch of the way for Edinburgh in a bid to win back their Scotland places.

“At times Jamie has lost out on selection due to injury or strategy selections. This time I think it was on form. It’s a great opportunity for Jamie now to put his hand up – fortunately for him he’s got that opportunity on Friday night and show what he’s worth. 

“He has put in some good performances for Edinburgh throughout the season, but sometimes it happens that you have a dip. It’s about how you get up. He’s certainly got that character – he’s a fighter, he’s a warrior, and he’ll be back and fighting for contention again.”     

“Hamish’s performance against Scarlets was world-class and he scored a great try from 10 metres out with good power and explosiveness. We’re fortunate at the club that we’ve got guys that fight and want to put their hand up for selection and don’t give up on opportunities at national level. So it stands us in good stead against a team that can be dangerous at home on Friday night.” 


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About Stuart Bathgate 1363 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

2 Comments

  1. Excellent. Similar news regarding Kinghorn would be most welcome. Steyn will be back as well, suddenly we have real options in that back 3 again.

    • Would be daft to catapult Graham into a Sco v Eng 6N match after so long out of action. I don’t get the urgency on that. Im 50/50 on him starting for Scotland at the best of times. He is a good option against the lesser test sides but just seems easily mismatched by top level opposition tactics. Steyn offers the best balance imo at the moment. Rowe is improving with game time too.
      What about Kinghorn and Paterson at FB and wing interchangeably?

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