Six Nations: meet the new boys in Gregor Townsend’s squad

Jake Kerr, David Cherry and Chris Dean have been selected in their first senior Scotland camp

David Cherry
Edinburgh hooker David cherry has served a long apprenticeship but has finally reached the senior Scotland squad. Image: © Craig Watson -

There are seven uncapped players in the Scotland training squad for the opening two rounds of the Six Nations, which was named by Gregor Townsend yesterday [Wednesday] morning, including three who are involved with the senior national set-up for the first time.

Here is lowdown on that trio –

Name: Jake Kerr

Position: Hooker

Age: 22

Home town: Edinburgh

Club: Leicester Tigers

Top flight professional appearances: 17

Previous clubs: Boroughmuir, Watsonians, Edinburgh, Loughborough University

Other international honours: Scotland Under-18 and Scotland Under-20

Townsend said: “Playing is obviously the most important aspect and if it’s playing at a club in Scotland then that, for me personally, is an advantage – because as you get closer to internationals you can be managed, there’s cohesion with what you’re doing with the front-row and second-row guys you’re working with.

“But it’s a real credit to Jake that he’s gone down to a club with a real tradition of quality in the front-five and found a way to get into the team, and the Leicester coaches have been really impressed with what he’s done.

“Danny Wilson was down at Llanelli last week, watching him first hand and met him after the game. I’d spoken to Jake the week before as well. He’s delighted … surprised that he’s involved, but he’s earned it with how he’s played for Leicester this year.”

Name: David Cherry

Position: Hooker

Age: 27

Home town: Edinburgh

Club: Edinburgh

Top flight professional appearances: 11

Previous clubs: Edinburgh Academicals, Currie, London Scottish, Stade Niçois 

Other international honours: Scotland Under-20

Townsend said: “He’s a really good example of someone who had been playing Championship level and got an opportunity through Scottish Rugby’s relationship with Stade Niçois. We had a lot of positive feedback from the coaches out there last year and he’s really grabbed his opportunity with Edinburgh.

“It was a real shame that he got ill before the Kings game, because I think he would have gone really well that night, but every time he’s come off the bench he’s taken the game to the opposition.

“That’s a common trait between the three [uncapped] hookers, they don’t seem to be fazed with the opposition they’re playing against and playing professional rugby: whether that’s Grant Stewart going to play Leinster in the Champions Cup in one of his first games last year and really taking the game to Leinster; whether it’s David Cherry coming off the bench for Edinburgh; or Jake Kerr playing in the Premiership week-in, week-out. So that’s a good sign for us that they’re ready to go to the next level and take their opportunity.”

Name: Chris Dean

Position: Centre

Age: 24

Home town: North Berwick

Club: Edinburgh

Top flight professional appearances: 64

Previous clubs: Edinburgh Accies

Other international honours: Scotland Under-16, Scotland Under-17, Scotland Under-18, Scotland Under-20, Scotland 7s

Townsend said: “He really impressed us last year when he made the move from 13 to 12 because it suited his strengths. Getting more touches of the ball, getting over the gain-line carries. He’s improved his defence a lot in the past 12 months and that might be down to that change of position, plus the work he is doing with the Edinburgh coaches.
“He’s also shown that he can be an excellent passer. At the weekend against Toulon I thought he made some very good passes off his left hand. He’s played in these big games for Edinburgh over the past six weeks and performed really well, including up against direct rivals in the 1872 Cup games.
“We look forward to seeing how gets along with a lot of players who are coming from Glasgow in that backline. We see him being able to take that next step up to Test rugby.”

Six Nations: John Hardie returns to Scotland, call-ups for Dave Cherry and Jake Kerr


About David Barnes 3288 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 Comment

  1. I’m gobamacked you didn’t ask him why he’s not selected Ross Ford. If McInally got injured in the first 10 mins it’s going to be a long day for a rookie.

    Cockers gives Cherry an average of 10 or 15 mins a week that’s not the basis to be selected to play test match rugby.

    Grant Stewart has been dropped in the ocean at Glasgow because of injuries and really struggled in the 1872 Cup – the closest we have to a 6 nations trial.

    Not sure either of their form warrants a pick.

    Jake Kerr has played a lot of games for a struggling Leicester team and is ranked the 115 best hooker on RPI….

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