Chiefs duo named in Scotland squad
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs duo Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray have both been named in Gregor Townsend’s 35-man Scotland squad for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, which begins with the Calcutta Cup clash versus England on Saturday, February 6.
Hogg - who will again captain his side in the competition - as well as Gray, both featured in last season’s competition, as well as the Autumn Nations Cup, but there is no place for club-mates Sam Skinner and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, both of whom will remain with the Chiefs as they prepare to return to Gallagher Premiership action away to Worcester Warriors on January 30.
The group, split between 20 forwards and 15 backs, sees eight new players called up who did not feature in the group that contested the recent 2020 Autumn Nations Cup.Players who could potentially make their Scotland debuts include Edinburgh hooker, David Cherry, Sale hooker Ewan Ashman, Gloucester forward, Alex Craig and Bath centre, Cameron Redpath.
Returning to the squad are Gary Graham, Grant Stewart, Alan Dell and former Exeter Chiefs player, Byron McGuigan.
With an eye to the future three additional players have been invited to train with the squad during the campaign. Edinburgh Rugby back row forward, Rory Darge, Glasgow Warriors pair winger, Rufus MacLean and scrum-half, Jamie Dobie will join up with the squad, which goes into camp on Sunday.
Speaking on the squad selection Gregor Townsend said: “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.
“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.”
SCOTLAND SQUAD FOR 2021 GUINNESS SIX NATIONS
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
Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 23 caps
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, capt) – 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