Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 35-man squad for the 2021 Six Nations, which begins with the Calcutta Cup clash vs England on Saturday 6 February.
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 also Newcastle Falcons back-rower, Gary Graham, Sale Sharks wing, Byron McGuigan, Glasgow Warriors hooker, Grant Stewart and London Irish prop Alan Dell.
In the pack, Glasgow Warriors hooker George Turner is selected and joined in the front row by Zander Fagerson and Oli Kebble from Glasgow Warriors, alongside Edinburgh Rugby representatives WP Nel, Rory Sutherland and Simon Berghan.
Glasgow Warriors’ lock pairing Richie Gray and Scott Cummings, Exeter Chief, Jonny Gray are called up, along with Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist who left the ANC squad with an injury before the opening match.
Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie, who have both recently re-signed to long-term deals to stay at Edinburgh Rugby, are joined as back-row options by Glasgow Warrior Matt Fagerson and Scarlet’s Blade Thomson.
Gregor Townsend has chosen just two scrum-half’s for this campaign with Glasgow Warriors’ Ali Price and Harlequins’ Scott Steele selected.
Linking up at half-back will be Racing 92’s Finn Russell who returns following an injury sustained in the concluding match of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations vs Wales and Edinburgh’s Jaco Van de Walt who made his Scotland debut in the ANC semi-final against Ireland.
Gloucester’s Chris Harris, Saracen Duncan Taylor, Glasgow Warrior Huw Jones and Harlequins’ James Lang are selected at centre.
In the back three Scotland Captain Stuart Hogg is joined by Edinburgh Rugby trio Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham and Duhan van de Merwe and Saracens’ Sean Maitland.
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) CAPTAIN – 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
Story Courtesy/Scottish Rugby