Scotland name new-look squad for Six Nations
January 14, 2013
Kiwi-born Sean Maitland is one of the new faces in Scotland's Six Nations squad © PA Photos
Scotland have named 10 uncapped players in a 35-man squad for a training camp in Glasgow next week ahead of their Six Nations campaign.
Interim head coach Scott Johnson has opted to inject some fresh faces in the hope that his side can put a disastrous end of year campaign behind them and ensure there is no repeat of last year's wooden spoon.
Among the newcomers is New Zealand-born winger Sean Maitland who only joined Glasgow in October and qualifies through his grandparents. The others are fullback Peter Murchie, wing 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.
There are also 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.
Johnson said: "We've chosen this squad with two parameters uppermost in our minds: current form and looking to the future. 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."
Five of the new faces are totally new to the senior set-up including 24-year-old Maitland who moved to Scotland from Canterbury Crusaders and has already made a considerable impact at Scotstoun. Another is Kennedy, 21, a who started the season as an elite development player with Edinburgh Rugby but moved to Glasgow on account of injury problems at No.9.
MacArthur, 25, is another Glasgow player to step up for the first time as do his back-row colleagues, Ryan Wilson and Chris Fusaro, both of whom are 23. Fusaro has played for Scotland A on four occasions and with Ross Rennie and John Barclay both injured, he is the only specialist openside in the squad.
Scrum-half Chris Cusiter, flanker John Barclay, prop Jon Welsh, centre Nick De Luca, flanker Ross Rennie and hooker Scott Lawson are all currently sidelined by injury while flanker Alasdair Strokosch will miss the camp for family reasons as his wife is expecting their second child.
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) and 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).
* = Uncapped.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers
Martin Gillingham looks at the state of play in the Top 14 and gives his take on the club versus country battle harming the prospects of the French side
Manu Tuilagi, Cockerill's psychological warfare and Saracens' brute strength - it is the Monday Maul