Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, has named his squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship with injuries meaning that seven uncapped players are included.
In the absence of Fraser Brown and George Turner, three uncapped hookers are named in the side, David Cherry (Edinburgh), Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers) and Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) rewarded for their recent performances at club level.
Another new addition in the Scotland front row sees Glasgow Warriors prop, D’Arcy Rae included. Also named in the side for the first time is back-row Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) and centres, Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) and Chris Dean (Edinburgh).
Johnson was in line to make his international debut during the November internationals but he was forced out through injury while Graham was an unused member of that squad. His club teammate, John Hardie, makes his return to a Scotland squad for the first time since the 2018 Six Nations.
Townsend’s side finished third in the table during last year’s campaign and speaking to their official website, he maintained that the squad have shown enough improvement to place higher in 2019.
“There’s certainly been a lot of improvement from this group of players in recent seasons and I believe there’s much more to come. They’ve a genuine desire to get better and reach their potential in what is a huge year for our sport.”
“In the past 18 months we’ve played 18 Test matches and have introduced 18 new players to Test-level rugby. Once again, our squad features players aiming to take that step, which is a testimony to their performances this season and the growing strength in depth of Scottish rugby.”
Scotland will open the campaign against Italy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 2 February before welcoming Ireland the following week.
A trip to France on 23 February is followed by another home game against Wales on 9 March. They conclude their campaign against England in Twickenham the following week.
Scotland squad for the 2019 Six Nations:
Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps
Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 14 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
David Cherry (Edinburgh) – uncapped
Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 17 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 28 caps
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – uncapped
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 47 caps
John Hardie (Newcastle Falcons) – 16 caps
Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers) – uncapped
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 26 caps
D’Arcy Rae (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 6 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 3 caps
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 17 caps
Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 38 caps
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 14 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps
Chris Dean (Edinburgh) – uncapped
Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 6 caps
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 38 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Clermont Auvergne) – 66 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 37 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 40 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 46 caps