'˜I'd really like to play for England' says Scot Gary Graham
There was some disbelief north of the Border last week when the Stirling-born former Scotland Under-20 international was named in a 34-man squad by England coach Eddie Jones to take part in a new year training camp.
The Newcastle Falcons flanker, who was brought up in Cumbria, was called up for the first time after performing well for the English top-flight side in recent months after joining in the summer from Jersey.
As well as playing in Scotland Under-20 squads with the likes of Stuart Hogg, Ali Price and Finn Russell, Graham, 25, represented Gala and the Scotland Club XV previously.
His father George, now head coach of Hawick, won 25 caps for Scotland between 1997 and 2002 at prop – but now there is a chance his son could line up against Gregor Townsend’s men in the upcoming Six Nations.
Ahead of Newcastle’s Premiership clash with Exeter Chiefs today, Grahamsaid: “I’d never ever thought about playing for England or even being selected for a camp.
“I’ve only been in the Premiership since the start of the season. I was happy with my progress, but I didn’t think anyone else was.
“My dad was my rugby hero and I always hoped I would be something like him. He is the most passionate Scot I’ve ever met in my life, but he wanted to play at the highest level he could and so do I. I was brought up in England and I’d really like to play for England.
“They are second in the world and they have aspirations of making it to the top. Ultimately that’s where every player wants to be. Dad is really proud. He’s happy for me.”