Scotland announce Six Nations training squad
January 12, 2000
Centre John Leslie is the only big-name absentee from Scotland's Six Nations Championship training squad announced by coach Ian McGeechan today.
Leslie, named by forwards coach Hugh Campbell as a possible successor to now retired Gary Armstrong as international skipper, is currently in New Zealand where he is about to get married before linking up with Newcastle at the end of the month.
The only non-World Cup squad men in the squad, who will train at Murrayfield on Monday and Tuesday, are Northampton tight-head prop Mattie Stewart and Glasgow Caledonians scrum-half Andy Nicol, who is set to fight it out with Bryan Redpath for a starting place when the current champions open their campaign against Italy in Rome next month.
Edinburgh Reivers skipper Graham Shiel is also included despite leading the Scotland A squad against Holland before Christmas.
Providing he recovers his fitness after a recent knee injury, utility back Chris Paterson will train with the A squad on Monday before linking up with the seniors later the same day.
The 23-man A team squad which was also announced today contains two new faces, neither of whom were born in Scotland.
Australian Schools international Don Mackinnon and former Leicester centre Jon Stuart link up with a party which also includes Alistair Murdoch and Paul Johnstone, capped by Australia and Zimbabwe respectively before confirming their allegiance to Scotland by playing against Holland.
McGeechan has also decided to integrate two under 21 internationals to each squad.
Heriots' Simon Taylor and Glasgow Caledonians' Ian McInroy will join the full party, while Tom Palmer of Leeds and Donnie Macfadyen from the Reds will train with Scotland A.
Scotland training squad:
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside