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Townsend names five uncapped players in his 39-man Scotland squad

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend has named five uncapped players in his 39-man Scotland squad for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations, including Saracens back-rower Andy Christie and London Irish scrum-half Ben White. Rory Darge, Ben Vellacott and Kyle Rowe are also rewarded with call-ups ahead of Scotland’s first game of the championship on Saturday, February 5, against England.


Christie represented Scotland at youth level, playing for the U16s, and the 22-year-old has played with Saracens since 2018, becoming a prominent figure for the London side. White, aged 23, signed for London Irish last year from Leicester Tigers and featured in their victory over Edinburgh last weekend.

Fellow London Irish player Rowe is also named in the squad having impressed in the Premiership this season, notably scoring a hat-trick against Saracens and was previously a member of the Scotland 7s and U20s teams. Darge and Vellacott have been selected due to consistently good performances at Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh respectively. 

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Following his memorable debut against England last year, Bath centre Cameron Redpath has recovered from injury and will once again be in contention ahead of the ix Nations opener. During the Autumn Nations Series, Ewan Ashman, Jamie Hodgson, Josh Bayliss, Javan Sebastian, Pierre Schoeman, Rufus McLean and Sione Tuipulotu all received their first Scotland caps and are included once again.

The squad will meet up at Oriam on Monday, January 24, for a training camp before reconvening the following week ahead of the Calcutta Cup clash. Fresh from claiming the top spot in Scotland’s all-time try-scoring list during the Autumn Nations Series, Stuart Hogg once again captains his country.

He is joined by fellow British and Irish Lions adding their experience to the squad in Finn Russell, Ali Price, Zander Fagerson, Chris Harris, Rory Sutherland, Duhan van der Merwe and Hamish Watson. Elsewhere there are call-ups for Edinburgh back row Magnus Bradbury and prop WP Nel, who missed out on selection for the Autumn Nations Series as did Exeter Chiefs lock Jonny Gray who also returns.

Northampton centre Rory Hutchinson also earns a squad selection having not featured for Scotland in 2021. Townsend said: “When you look through the squad this is the most competitive I’ve seen it in so many areas and that is testament to the strength and depth we have.


“We are able to call up several new players into the squad such as Andy Christie, Kyle Rowe and Ben White. We have been aware of all of the uncapped players for a while now and recently they have all experienced a breakthrough in terms of their performances at club level. A key part of the squad selection was rewarding form and that definitely applies to Ben Vellacott and Rory Darge who have been excellent for their clubs this season.

“We are delighted to be able to include Cameron Redpath in the squad after missing the last few months with injury. He managed to get a game under his belt prior to the squad selection so we’ll see how he performs for Bath and in our training over the next couple of weeks.”

Ewan Ashman – Sale Sharks – 2 caps
Josh Bayliss – Bath Rugby – 2 caps
Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 22 caps
Magnus Bradbury – Edinburgh Rugby – 14 caps
Andy Christie – Saracens – uncapped
Scott Cummings – Glasgow Warriors – 21 caps
Rory Darge – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 17 caps
Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 42 caps
Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby – 48 caps
Jonny Gray – Exeter Chiefs – 64 caps
Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 10 caps 
Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby – 3 caps
Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 43 caps
WP Nel – Edinburgh Rugby – 43 caps
Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby – 31 caps
Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – 4 caps 
Javan Sebastian – Scarlets – 1 cap
Sam Skinner – Exeter Chiefs – 15 caps
Rory Sutherland – Worcester Warriors – 16 caps 
George Turner – Glasgow Warriors – 20 caps
Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 45 caps

Mark Bennett – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps
Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps
Chris Harris – Gloucester Rugby – 31 caps
Stuart Hogg – Exeter Chiefs – 88 caps – Captain
Rory Hutchinson – Northampton Saints – 5 caps 
Sam Johnson – Glasgow Warriors – 21 caps
Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 28 caps
Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – 2 caps
Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors – 46 caps
Cameron Redpath – Bath Rugby – 1 cap
Kyle Rowe – London Irish – uncapped
Finn Russell – Racing 92 – 58 caps
Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors – 3 caps
Sione Tuipulotu- Glasgow Warriors – 1 cap
Duhan van der Merwe – Worcester Warriors – 13 caps
Ben Vellacott – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Ben White – London Irish – uncapped


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