Cam Redpath: Gregor Townsend will make Calcutta Cup call on Scotland centre after Bath v Harlequins

Gregor Townsend has hailed the return of Cam Redpath to full fitness and will assess the player over the weekend before deciding whether he is ready to be involved in Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations opener against England at Murrayfield on February 5.

Cam Redpath trains with Scotland at Oriam this week. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

It’s coming up for a year since the Bath centre introduced himself to international rugby with a highly impressive debut in the Calcutta Cup victory at Twickenham.

It was Scotland’s first win at English rugby’s HQ for 38 years and Redpath excelled. Unfortunately, he has not played a Test match since. He suffered a nerve-related neck injury which caused him to miss the remainder of the Six Nations and then ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Bath’s Gallagher Premiership match against Sale Sharks on May 14.

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He made his club comeback in the Heineken Champions Cup defeat away to La Rochelle - playing at stand-off - on January 15, then played at inside centre in the heavy loss to Leinster in the same competition last weekend.

Cam Redpath, right, lifts the Calcutta Cup with fellow debutant Dave Cherry after Scotland's win over England at Twickenham last year. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“Obviously he’s missed a lot of rugby, and just in terms of the physical side of the game he’s finding his feet,” said Townsend. “He’s played two games since he was out injured for about eight months and has gone well in those two games.

“They were very tough fixtures - away to La Rochelle, where he was playing at 10, and then at home to one of the best teams around just now, Leinster.”

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Townsend got a good look at the player during Scotland’s training camp at Oriam this week. The English-based players will return to their clubs for weekend matches and reassemble next week.

“We’re hoping he’ll get another opportunity this weekend for Bath against Harlequins,” added the Scotland coach. “He trained really well on Tuesday, and we’ll see where we are with Cam and with the rest of the players as we head into England week and we have to decide on a 15 and a 23. But it’s just brilliant to see him back fit and playing again.”

Scotland added Sean Maitland to their squad on Tuesday after illness prevented wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Kyle Rowe from joining the training camp in Edinburgh. Josh Bayliss, the Bath back-row forward, was also missing, due to a concussion. Townsend is hopeful all three will be available for the England game.

“Josh is starting his return to play process today so it has been delayed just until he is symptom free,” said the coach. “Both Kyle and Duhan are better with their illnesses but will not take part in our camp this week but we believe they will recover over the next few days and be with us next week.

“All three, if they continue to make progress, will be with us on Sunday night and be with us next week. We also have a lot of players who will be playing rugby this weekend so we will see how the players get through these games.”

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