Former England selection Gary Graham called up to Scotland squad

Scotland have called up Gary Graham to their autumn Tests squad ahead of Saturday's match against South Africa at BT Murrayfield.
Gary Graham. Picture: SNSGary Graham. Picture: SNS
Gary Graham. Picture: SNS
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The 26-year-old Newcastle Falcons flanker was controversially involved in a Six Nations training camp earlier this year but the Stirling-born son of former Scotland prop George Graham was never capped, leaving him still eligible for the land of his birth.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has now moved to involve the former Gala player in his squad, as a replacement for Scarlets flanker Blade Thomson, who is out with concussion.

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Graham moved to Carlisle at the age of three but returned to Scotland aged 17 when he represented the Netherdale club alongside his representative rugby, before joining Jersey in 2015 and the Falcons two years later.

He said: “I’m Scottish through-and-through but England asked me first as I’m eligible through residency. It would have been a silly opportunity to pass up, as I hadn’t been selected for a Scotland squad since U20s.

“I’m absolutely delighted to get this opportunity. I phoned Gregor to assure him I wanted to play for Scotland, and always wanted to play for my country. It’s where I’m from and where I played most of my rugby.”

Townsend added: “I was great to hear from Gary that he wanted to commit to Scotland.

“It has become a competitive environment for dual-qualified players recently and we know that these are not easy decisions for players.

“We’ve been tracking Gary since he was at Jersey and his form over the past 12 months at Newcastle has moved him closer to playing international rugby. We look forward to welcoming him into our squad for this week’s camp.”