France v Scotland: Josh Bayliss a surprise call-up by Gregor Townsend

Zander Fagerson is to appeal the four-match ban he received last week following his sending off against Wales

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has thrown a curve-ball in his squad selection ahead of next Sunday's match against France Photo credit should read: © Craig Watson -
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has thrown a curve ball in his squad selection ahead of next Sunday's match against France Image: © Craig Watson.

THE ‘Toony Tombola’ has turned up another surprise selection with a call-up for Bath back-row forward Josh Bayliss to the 36-man training squad which will prepare this week for next Sunday’s Six Nations round-three clash with France.

The 23-year-old, who was a member of the England Under-20s squad which reached the Junior World Cup Final in 2017, qualifies for Scotland through his Aberdeen-born grandmother and has featured for Bath in every game of the 2020-21 season so far.

Prop Zander Fagerson is not listed in the latest squad update, however Scottish Rugby has announced that they will appeal his disciplinary hearing ban of four matches following a red card against Wales in round two of this Six Nations campaign.

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Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Jamie Dobie has also been added to the squad as a full member, having previously been invited to train at the start of the campaign.

Adam Hastings also takes his place in the squad having trained with the national team since the end of January to help his return from injury.

Returning to the Scotland squad are Jamie Bhatti, currently with Bath, Worcester Warrior Cornell du Preez and Glasgow Warriors duo Rob Harley and Sam Johnson.

Centre Cameron Redpath and back-row pair Gary Graham and Blade Thomson have all returned to their clubs as they continue to recover from their respective injuries. Allan Dell has also been released.

“We welcome Josh [Bayliss] into our squad as we look to build on our opening two games of the Championship,” said head coach Gregor Townsend. “We have been following his performances with Bath and a combination of his form and a couple of injuries in our squad, have given us the opportunity to involve him for the first time.

“We are also delighted to add Jamie Dobie to our group following his impressive outing for Glasgow on Friday night and the quality he showed while training with us prior to our game against England.”



  • Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) – Uncapped
  • Josh Bayliss (Bath) – Uncapped
  • Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 28 caps
  • Jamie Bhatti (Bath) – 16 caps
  • David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 2 caps
  • Alex Craig (Gloucester) – Uncapped
  • Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
  • Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors) – 9 caps
  • Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
  • Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 42 caps
  • Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 63 caps
  • Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 67 caps
  • Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps
  • Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps
  • Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 42 caps
  • Darcy Rae (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
  • Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 24 caps
  • Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
  • Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 13 caps
  • George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 14 caps
  • Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 38 caps

BACKS (15)

  • Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
  • Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 16 caps
  • Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 25 caps
  • Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps
  • Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) CAPTAIN – 82 caps
  • Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 15 caps
  • Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 28 caps
  • James Lang (Harlequins) – 6 caps
  • Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 51 caps
  • Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 39 caps
  • Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 53 caps
  • Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 2 cap
  • Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 28 caps
  • Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
  • Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 7 caps

Edinburgh youngsters Ben Muncaster (back row) and Matt Currie (outside centre) have been invited to train with the squad.

Antoine Dupont to miss Scotland clash as France announce two more positive Covid tests


About David Barnes 3908 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Scotland once again blewitt against Wales after such a good game against England why can they not repeat these performances why do they only go one game streaks.
    this is the problem Gregor Townsend and previous managers have to grasp and get sorted. Consistency in all sports is the name of the game none of this matters what team he plays if they can’t keep consistency they should all be A-level now of being consistent the whole squad

  2. I am pleased to learn that there will be an appeal regarding the penalty handed out to Fagerson. I am sure like many other observers, the application of the initial punishment and the discourse between supporting officials followed by the questionable quality of the hearing panel to understand the physicality and intensity of the modern men’s game requires questioning. Why should the panel be any the less professional than the individuals they are investigating?
    As an example perhaps that a more appropriate qualification than the Fagerson panel is Nick Easter who questions Fagerson’s carding and adds the most damning indictment on the current mess: “I’m just pleased I’m not playing the game at the moment.”
    When recently retired internationals, who have remained in the elite game via coaching consider themselves lucky that they are no longer players, then it is a situation that has to be investigated, and heaven help me for saying, ‘let the professionals do the job’ not Junior club players or individuals not in the men’s elite game. There is no reason why a standard panel of qualified elite former players preferably having played in a similar position can’t be summoned in this day and age of video conferencing.
    Another aspect is if there is concern with player safety why wasn’t Wyn Jones required to take an HIA, just in case as it were? Is there a case to change the Laws relating to clearing out? It has always been a mess, individuals diving in, lying over the bodies, and the ‘clearing out’ only offers up this problem especially as it takes two to tango.
    The legal clean out becomes illegal at times by the actions of the other party moving position whilst the clearer out is driving in being committed and obviously in a position where at the final approach he will not clearly see the opponent move position, stand up or any number of movements.
    I think another aspect would be considerably more meat on the statements emanating from the hearings, perhaps a transcript. In that way questionable analysis or obvious failure to make any judgement other than ‘rubber stamping’ the referee, [right or wrong] would offer ‘clarity’.
    I have felt for some time that it’s all a bit of a cosy clique in the administration of Rugby these days with everything of import 10 minutes away from the Shelbourne Bar in Dublin.

    • I don’t think the (lack of) resulting injury to Wynn Jones should make a difference. A blow to the head is a red card offence these days. Maybe WJ was plain lucky that ZF didn’t catch him flush on the napper – and maybe ZF was also lucky in this too? 4 red cards for head shots in England this weekend shows the refs are really clamping down on this

  3. Probably the team i would go with from that.

    Stuart Hogg – Sean Maitland – Chris Harris – James Lang – Duhan Van Der Merwe – Finn Russell – Ali Price – Matt Fagerson – Hamish Watson – Jamie Ritchie – Jonny Gray – Scott Cummings – Willem Nel – George Turner – Rory Sutherland

    Darcy Graham – Duncan Taylor – Jamie Dobie – Cornell Du Preez – Ritchie Gray – Simon Berghan – David Cherry – Oli Kebble

    Was not to impressed with Hastings, think he needs more game time before getting on the bench.
    Hard to leave any winger out, and Huw Jones is really only covering 13/15 with any real familiarity. Makes sense to drop Jaco as Lang or Hogg can cover in the unlikely scenario Finn is injured.

    Our advantage (familiarity) over France may be due to covid/Injuries. Hearing that around 7 starters from their first choice 23 will be missing.

    Good defence, intelligent kicking game and try keep parity up front.

    Not going to be a better chance to win in France for a long time after this i suspect.

  4. How is Sam skinner not in this squad. One of du Preez and Hartley will make the bench given the absence of blade and Gary Graham . Skinner scored at the weekend and can play in more then one position, I don’t even rate Harley at Glasgow, and he and du Preez are both playing in poorly performing sides. How do their call ups make sense?

    • Thought Wilson would be more deserving of a call-up over Harley at the moment, he is having a good season, making hard tackles against Ulster.

  5. The back row just never seemed to gel against Wales and when a sub gets subbed off for a lock, that speaks volumes (although GG going back to Newcastle does indicate him being subbed was injury-based). Du Preez is a good hairy-arsed ball carrier so not too disappointed by that given that Crosbie, Bradbury etc haven’t had much game time.
    Bayliss has looked decent but nothing special from what I’ve seen on BT this season. GT must see something, though, so I’ll now to his greater knowledge

    • How is Sam skinner not in this squad. One of du Preez and Hartley will make the bench given the absence of blade and Gary Graham . Skinner scored at the weekend and can play in more then one position, I don’t even rate Harley at Glasgow, and he and du Preez are both playing in poorly performing sides. How do their call ups make sense?

      • if we are not going to call up players from poorly performing teams we will be about 19 short of a 23.
        we don’t pick someone for falling over the line, but I think Skinner is only being considered as a lock, has clearly put the weight on. His form at lock has been ok no more


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