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Gregor Townsend names four uncapped players in Scotland Six Nations squad

Gregor Townsend - PA

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named his 39-player squad for the upcoming 2024 Guinness Six Nations.


The former test fly-half has opted for four uncapped players in the squad, with props Alec Hepburn and Will Hurd, winger Arron Reed and back-three operator Harry Paterson all earning a first call-up to Scotland duty, ahead of the championship opener against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday 3 February.

“Both of them are in really good form,” said Townsend.

“Aaron has been playing regularly now for a number of seasons but had a lot of minutes this year for Sale. I met him on a couple of occasions to talk about where he fits around our depth chart and this season he’s gone right up the depth chart and he’s someone that brings real effort and speed. He’s got an exciting attacking ability but also he’s aggressive and offensive in defence.

“And Harry, we’ve been so impressed by him when he’s had opportunities at Edinburgh – two big away performances out in Ulster and Clermont where he stood up. He brings an edge to his game but he’s an excellent attacker, someone with a kicking game, someone who can play anywhere in the back three as well, which obviously we’re looking out for with the injury to Ollie Smith right now.”

Edinburgh Rugby v <a href=
Gloucester Rugby – EPCR Challenge Cup” width=”1024″ height=”784″ /> EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 13: Harry aterson of Edinburgh is tackled by Louis Rees-Zammit of Gloucester during the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Edinburgh Rugby and Gloucester Rugby at DAM Health Stadium on January 13, 2024 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Loosehead prop Hepburn of Exeter Chiefs qualifies through his father, who was born in Scotland, likewise Sale Sharks flyer Reed. Leicester Tigers’ tighthead Hurd represented his country at under-20 level whilst Paterson, who can play both at wing and full-back, also played in the age-grade side and is a Scotland 7s cap.

“Two players that have played in the English premiership this year. Will Hurd was Scotland under 20s and was on Glasgow’s books a couple of season’s ago but its really been the last few months at Leicester that he’s gone about to establish the type of player that he is. A strong scrummager, someone that hits hard in defence and works really hard in attack and defence.


“And Alec has always been an excellent player. He really fits into the Exeter style of playing, which is similar to us in terms of moving the ball. He scrums really well, since he got back from injury and illness a few weeks ago, and we were delighted that he was available for us to select.”

The rest of Townsend’s squad, for which a captain is still to be named, has much of a familiar look, with Pierre Schoeman, Jamie Bhatti, Zander Fagerson and WP Nel filling the propping positions.

On who will be captain, Townsend said: “We’re going to leave it another week. Jamie [Ritchie] obviously was our captain last season and is just carrying a little injury right now but he should be back this weekend.

“He’s got a challenge to play well up against the back rows that are in the squad that are all playing well. So we’re going to assess things after the weekend. We know Jamie could feature as captain for us against Wales, but there’s other players in the mix too.”


At hooker, Ewan Ashman, Johnny Matthews and George Turner are named to complete front row options.

In the second row the experienced Grant Gilchrist and Richie Gray are joined by Scott Cummings, Sam Skinner and Glen Young, who returns to the national squad having last been capped against Argentina in 2022.

Scotland’s forward stable is added to in the form of back row members Jamie Ritchie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Luke Crosbie, Josh Bayliss and Andy Christie.

In the backs, Reed and Paterson are two of a seven-strong list that includes wingers Duhan van der Merwe, Darcy Graham, Kyle Steyn and Kyle Rowe, as well as full-back Blair Kinghorn.

Five centres have been selected by way of Sione Tuipulotu, Huw Jones, Stafford McDowall, Cameron Redpath and Rory Hutchinson, who returns to the fold for the first time since appearing in two Tests on the tour to Argentina in 2022.

Adam Hastings’ timely return from injury has led to the Gloucester Rugby stand-off joining Finn Russell and Ben Healy in the squad, with scrum-half trio Ben White, Ali Price and George Horne also named.

In all, the squad comprises 15 players from Glasgow Warriors, 13 from Edinburgh Rugby and a further 11 who ply their trade outside Scotland.

After facing Wales in Cardiff, Scotland host France and England at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, before rounding off the 2024 Guinness Six Nations with trips to Rome, to face Italy, and in Dublin to meet Ireland.


Scotland squad for the 2024 Guinness Six Nations (caps in brackets):


Ewan Ashman – Edinburgh Rugby (12)
Josh Bayliss – Bath Rugby (5)
Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors (34)
Andy Christie – Saracens (4)
Luke Crosbie – Edinburgh Rugby (7)
Scott Cummings – Glasgow Warriors (33)
Jack Dempsey – Glasgow Warriors (15)
Rory Darge – Glasgow Warriors (15)
Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby (68)
Richie Gray – Glasgow Warriors (78)
Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors (40)
Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors (62)
Alec Hepburn – Exeter Chiefs (uncapped)
Will Hurd – Leicester Tigers (uncapped)
Johnny Matthews – Glasgow Warriors (1)
WP Nel – Edinburgh Rugby (61)
Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby (46)
Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby (26)
Sam Skinner – Edinburgh Rugby (30)
George Turner – Glasgow Warriors (40)
Glen Young – Edinburgh Rugby (3)


Adam Hastings – Gloucester Rugby (27)
Ben Healy – Edinburgh Rugby (4)
George Horne – Glasgow Warriors (26)
Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby (39)
Rory Hutchinson – Northampton Saints (8)
Huw Jones – Glasgow Warriors (43)
Blair Kinghorn – Toulouse (50)
Stafford McDowall – Glasgow Warriors (1)
Harry Paterson – Edinburgh Rugby (uncapped)
Ali Price – Edinburgh Rugby (66)
Cameron Redpath – Bath Rugby (9)
Arron Reed – Sale Sharks (uncapped)
Kyle Rowe – Glasgow Warriors (1)
Finn Russell – Bath Rugby (75)
Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors (15)
Sione Tuipulotu – Glasgow Warriors (22)
Duhan van der Merwe – Edinburgh Rugby (34)
Ben White – Toulon (18)


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1 Comment
finn 178 days ago

given gus warr hasn’t been named, does that mean he’s in contention for england?

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