Saturday 25 November 2017

Rugby: Scotland coach Andy Robinson names six uncapped players for Six Nations assault

SCOTLAND head coach Andy Robinson has named a 36-man squad for the forthcoming Six Nations, featuring six uncapped players.

Robinson will bid to improve on two wins in 10 Six Nations fixtures when Scotland begin the tournament with the Calcutta Cup opener against England at Murrayfield on Feb 4.



All 28 available players from the 30-man Rugby World Cup squad have been selected - Chris Paterson and Nathan Hines have retired since the tournament in New Zealand.



The six uncapped players are Edinburgh wing Lee Jones, 19-year-old full-back Stuart Hogg and his Glasgow Warriors team-mates Duncan Weir and Robert Harley, who play at fly-half and in the back-row, respectively.



Sale Sharks' flanker/lock Fraser McKenzie has also been included alongside 20-year-old London Irish centre Steven Shingler.



The capped players who did not travel to the World Cup but were named today are David Denton and Greig Laidlaw.



Shingler is a surprise selection. He was born in Swansea, joined London Irish from Scarlets at the start of this season and qualifies for Scotland through his Dumfries-born mother, Jeanette.



The Scotland captain is set to be named later this month.



Scotland were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage for the first time after defeats to Argentina and England.



Robinson has been impressed by the recent performances of the young Scots, particularly in the Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh sides, and suggested he would phase them in gradually.



The squad will gather at St Andrews on the week beginning Monday, January 23, before being trimmed for match-specific preparations for the England clash.



Robinson said: "I am pleased to reflect on the winning displays we have seen from both Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors over the last two months and the contribution a number of our uncapped players have made to them.



"I think what's also encouraging is that a number of players who have forced their way into contention in that period and who have not made the squad this time, are really knocking on the door and that competition for places can only raise our standards, so this Scotland squad can be very much a work in progress over the coming months.



"We said after the Rugby World Cup that the challenge the Scotland squad must confront is to get on with the business of winning international rugby matches. "Potential counts for nothing if you don't deliver results."



Shingler outlined his Scotland credentials after being confirmed in the squad, joining London Irish team-mate Joe Ansbro in the Scotland squad.



Shingler said: "I would be massively proud to play for Scotland.



"My upbringing from my mother means I've always known about Scotland. "I've got my gran, auntie, two uncles and two cousins in Langholm and other than the past year I've been up 15 years on the bounce to see them around the time of the Common Riding and I've competed in the Games as well."



Scotland squad:



Backs: J Ansbro (London Irish), M Blair (Edinburgh), C Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), S Danielli (Ulster), N De Luca (Edinburgh), M Evans (Castres), S Hogg, R Jackson (both Glasgow Warriors), L Jones, G Laidlaw (both Edinburgh), R Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets), R Lawson (Gloucester), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), D Parks (Cardiff Blues), S Shingler (London Irish) and D Weir (Glasgow Warriors)



Forwards: J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), K Brown (Saracens), G Cross, D Denton (both Edinburgh Rugby), A Dickinson (Sale Sharks), R Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), R Gray, D Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), J Hamilton (Gloucester), R Harley (Glasgow Warriors), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), S Lawson (Gloucester), M Low (Glasgow Warriors), F McKenzie (Sale Sharks), E Murray (Newcastle Falcons), R Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby), A Strokosch (Gloucester) and R Vernon (Sale Sharks).



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