Scotland new boy Cameron Redpath was still wanted by England reveals Gregor Townsend

Gregor Townsend has struck a notable victory over England 17 days before the Calcutta Cup by persuading Cameron Redpath that his international future lies with Scotland.

Cameron Redpath's form for Bath impressed Gregor Townsend.
Cameron Redpath's form for Bath impressed Gregor Townsend.
Cameron Redpath's form for Bath impressed Gregor Townsend.

The Bath centre has been named in Townsend’s 35-man Six Nations squad, a development that will be a source of considerable satisfaction to his father.

Bryan Redpath won 60 Scotland caps between 1993 and 2003 but it looked as if his son had opted for England.

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He was capped at under-20 level for the Red Rose and named in Eddie Jones’ full squad for the tour of South Africa in 2018 before withdrawing due to injury.

Townsend said he had had no contact with Jones but pointed out that Redpath was still coveted by England. The Scotland coach also revealed that he tried to lure the 21-year-old north for the autumn internationals but was rebuffed on that occasion.

“We are obviously delighted to be able to announce Cam in the squad,” said Townsend. “I have been chatting to him for a wee while now. We offered him the chance to be in our squad in the autumn but he felt it wasn’t the right time. Now he has come to a decision and he has chosen Scotland.

“He is an excellent player. He has played regularly for Bath this season and he has a lot more to bring, a lot more growth in his game over the next few years. I’m looking forward to working with him.

“He came to the decision on his own. His dad obviously played for Scotland, captained Scotland so I imagine the family will be really proud. But it was Cam’s decision.

“I’ve seen him play centre, coming through as an 18-year-old. I’ve chatted to him about his game on and off over the last few years. Since summer he started to play a bit more regularly and we have chatted more about the opportunity to play for Scotland.

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“Obviously we have been aware he is in a unique situation in that his family is Scottish but he was brought up in England and played age-group rugby for England. He was wanted by the English coaches as well.

“I imagine it has been a tough decision for him over the weeks and months but we are delighted he has come to this decision and he is looking forward to camp and we are looking forward to working with him.”

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Redpath is one of four uncapped players in the squad. Two of the other three are hookers as Townsend seeks to compensate for the absence of Fraser Brown and Stuart McInally.

Both frontline No.2s have neck injuries that are likely to rule them out of the entire Championship.

Glasgow’s George Turner is in pole position to start against England in what would be his Six Nations debut. The remainder of the hooking coterie is even more callow. Turner’s Warriors team-mate Grant Stewart won three caps as a replacement in 2019 while Edinburgh’s Dave Cherry and Sale’s Ewan Ashman are new to the squad.

The other uncapped player is the Gloucester forward, Alex Craig.

All being well, Scotland will kick off their Six Nations campaign at Twickenham on February 6.

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