Monday 22 January 2018

Scotland's new caps

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Vern Cotter has selected two uncapped forwards in his Scotland squad for what will be his final Six Nations at the helm.

Cotter, who will take up the head coach's role in Montpellier ahead of next season, and is to be replaced by Glasgow's Gregor Townsend, named a 37-man panel yesterday, which includes international newcomers, Edinburgh duo Simon Berghan and Cornell du Preez.

Kiwi prop Berghan is eligible for selection through his grandfather, while South African back-row Du Preez qualifies through the residency rule.

Cotter will be without No 8 David Denton, and is waiting to hear whether a neck injury will preclude tighthead WP Nel from taking part. Scotland face Ireland in their Championship opener in Murrayfield on February 4, and Joe Schmidt is expected to name his squad on Sunday.

Elsewhere, France head coach Guy Noves ended Toulouse centre Yann David's eight-year stint in the international wilderness when he named him in his Six Nations squad.

Noves overlooked centres Maxime Mermoz and Mathieu Bastareaud, as well as out-half Jules Plisson and full-back Brice Dulin, but selected two uncapped players in La Rochelle prop Mohamed Boughanmi and Brive's back-row Fabien Sanconnie.

Meanwhile, former Ireland team doctor Éanna Falvey has been named the head of medical for the Lions' tour of New Zealand this summer.

Finally, 47-time capped All Black out-half Aaron Cruden will join Montpellier from the Chiefs at the end of the Super Rugby season on a three-year deal said to be worth €800k per annum.

Cruden was tipped to succeed Dan Carter at first-choice New Zealand No 10 but has fallen down the pecking order since the emergence of Beauden Barrett, the reigning World Player of the Year.

Irish Independent

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