Scotland Six Nations squad: Ben Healy and former England cap Ruaridh McConnochie among four new call-ups
The Irish-born stand-off has agreed a deal to join Edinburgh from Munster in the summer and is now in line to switch allegiance to Scotland having previously represented Ireland at under-20 level. He qualifies through his Scottish mother.
He is joined in the squad by three other new faces. Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie is an eye-catching inclusion. He won two full caps for England but the last was in 2019 so he is eligible to switch sides through the new World Rugby three-year rule and qualifies through his Scottish father.
There is a call-up for Leicester Tigers second row Cameron Henderson who was previously part of Stirling County’s FOSROC Super6 squad and was selected for Scotland’s 2021 summer matches against England A, Romania and Georgia, only for the games to be cancelled due to Covid.
Uncapped Glasgow Warriors centre Stafford McDowall retains his place after being included in the Autumn Nations Series squad but not getting on the field. Jamie Ritchie will captain Scotland and there is a place for Finn Russell, a shock exclusion from head coach Gregor Townsend’s original autumn squad.
There are recalls for Saracens wing/full-back Sean Maitland, who has 15 tries from his 53 caps but has not featured for Scotland for almost two years, and centre Huw Jones, who re-joined Glasgow Warriors in the summer and has been in fine form after recovering from a back injury.
Hamish Watson is included but has not played since suffering a concussion in November. There are also places in the party for Zander Fagerson, who has been sidelined by a hamstring problem, and Duhan van der Merwe, who has been troubled by an ankle issue.
Injuries have robbed Townsend of Rory Darge, Scott Cummings, Murphy Walker, Darcy Graham and Adam Hastings.
Scotland’s opening match against England at Twickenham on February 4. They then face Wales at Murrayfield a week later and France in Paris on February 26, before rounding off the campaign with two home games, against Ireland on March 12 and Italy on March 18.
Scotland squad for the 2023 Guinness Six NationsForwardsEwan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 6 caps
Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby) 3 caps
Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps
Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps
Andy Christie (Saracens) 4 caps
Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps
Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 54 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 59 caps
Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 72 caps
Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 69 caps
Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers) uncapped
WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 50 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) - CAPTAIN - 36 caps
Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps
Javan Sebastian (Scarlets) 3 caps
Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps
Rory Sutherland (Ulster Rugby) 22 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 29 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 54 capsBacks
Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 39 caps
Ben Healy (Munster Rugby) uncapped
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 96 caps
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) 53 caps
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby) uncapped
Stafford McDowell (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 58 caps
Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 4 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) 65 caps
Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps
Ben White (London Irish) 9 caps2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures
England v Scotland, Saturday 4 February, kick-off 4.45pm, Twickenham
Scotland v Wales, Saturday 11 February, kick-off 4.45pm, BT Murrayfield
France v Scotland, Sunday 26 February, kick-off 3pm, Stade de France
Scotland v Ireland, Sunday 12 March, kick-off 3pm, BT Murrayfield
Scotland v Italy, Saturday 19 March, kick-off 12.30pm, BT Murrayfield
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