Ten new faces in Scotland squad

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Scott Johnson's first Scotland squad as interim head coach has taken on a distinctly fresh-faced feel as he looks to reinvigorate his side ahead of the RBS 6 Nations.

Johnson, who takes over from Andy Robinson who left in the autumn after a disappointing defeats to New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga, has named ten uncapped players in his training squad.

In come full-back Peter Murchie, wings Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour, centres Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne, scrum-half Sean Kennedy, hooker Pat MacArthur, lock Grant Gilchrist and back-row forwards Ryan Wilson and Chris Fusaro.

In the squad of 35, 19 are from Glasgow Warriors, the side who are currently second in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Johnson admits he is happy to put his faith in youth.

“We’ve chosen this squad with two parameters uppermost in our minds: current form and looking to the future,” he said.

“Where two players have been vying for the one spot in areas such as the back-row, we’ve gone with the form option.

“I’ve been impressed with a number of the young fellows who’ve helped Glasgow to second place in the Rabo, especially by their work ethic and determination to improve.

“This squad is for our training camp in Glasgow next week and we still have the option to add to it for the Six Nations.”

Perpignan’s Alasdair Strokosch will miss the camp for family reasons as his wife is expecting their second child while Chris Cusiter, Nick De Luca, John Barclay, Ross Rennie, Scott Lawson and Jon Welsh are all invited to continue their recovery from injury with the main squad.

There are recalls for No.8 Johnnie Beattie, who missed out on selection for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and Richie Vernon, Alasdair Dickinson, Moray Low, Robert Harley and Duncan Weir who were not involved during the autumn.

Scotland squad for the Six Nations

Backs: Peter Murchie, Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Sean Lamont (all Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby), Max Evans (Castres), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Duncan Weir, Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Henry Pyrgos, Sean Kennedy (both Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby)

Forwards: Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Pat MacArthur (all Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby), Moray Low, Alastair Kellock (both Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Robert Harley, Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Vernon (Sale Sharks), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors)