Four Six Nations rookies for Scotland

International
AAP
by AAP

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend on Tuesday named four uncapped players in a 40-man Scotland squad for the Six Nations and welcomed back a clutch of experienced internationals.

Scotland finished fourth in last year's tournament with victories against Ireland, Wales and Italy. The Scots ended 2017 with a narrow loss to the All Blacks and a spectacular 53-24 win over Australia.

The potential debutants are Edinburgh trio Blair Kinghorn (full-back), Nathan Fowles (scrum-half) and Murray McCallum (prop) plus Glasgow prop D'Arcy Rae.

Fullback Blair Kinghorn is one of  Scotland's potential debutants. Photo: Getty ImagesThe squad is also boosted by the return of several experienced players, absent from recent campaigns, including scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, lock Richie Gray, centres Mark Bennett and Duncan Taylor and  back-row David Denton.

Laidlaw, Gray and Bennett have not featured for the dark blues since last year's championship, while it was 2015 when returning prop Jon Welsh last saw international action and longer still for veteran hooker Scott Lawson.

Scarlets backrower John Barclay will continue to captain the side. He took the mantle from Laidlaw in last year's championship and led Scotland to victories in six of nine Tests.

"With the announcement of this 40-man squad, we are now entering the key stages of our preparation for this year's" Six Nations, said Townsend.

"It's a bigger squad than we originally planned -- which is largely down to the competition for places -- with a number of players having performed well in the autumn Tests and a few others putting their hands up for selection in recent weeks."

 SQUAD

Scotland Six Nations

Forwards

John Barclay, capt (Scarlets),

Simon Bergh Simon Berghan

Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow),

Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh)

David Denton (Worcester)

Cornell Du Preez

Grant Gilchrist

Jonny Gray

Richie Gray

Luke Hamilton

Rob Harley

Scott Lawson

Murray McCallum

Stuart McInally

Gordon Reid

D'Arcy Rae

Ben Toolis

George Turner

Hamish Watson

Jon Welsh

Ryan Wilson

Backs

Mark Bennett

Alex Dunbar

Nick Grigg

Chris Harris

 Stuart Hogg

 Pete Horne

 Ruaridh Jackson

 Huw Jones

Lee Jones

Blair Kinghorn

Greig Laidlaw

Sean Maitland

Byron McGuigan

Ali Price

Henry Pyrgos

Finn Russell

Tommy Seymour

Duncan Taylor

Nathan Fowles