Ten uncapped players have been named in interim head coach Scott Johnson’s first Scotland squad. The 35-strong squad will convene in Glasgow next Sunday for a three-day training camp ahead of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Nine of the uncapped brigade are from Glasgow Warriors, five of whom are chosen at this tier for the first time. In all, there are 19 players from the Glasgow Warriors side that currently sits in second place in the RaboDirect PRO12 league. The squad is completed by nine Exiles and seven from Edinburgh Rugby.
The uncapped players are: full-back Peter Murchie, wings Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour, centres Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne, scrum-half Sean Kennedy, hooker Pat MacArthur, lock Grant Gilchrist and back-row forwards Ryan Wilson and Chris Fusaro.
Scott Johnson said: “We’ve chosen this squad with two parameters uppermost in our minds: current form and looking to the future.
“Where two players have been vying for the one spot in areas such as the back-row, we’ve gone with the form option.
“I’ve been impressed with a number of the young fellows who’ve helped Glasgow to second place in the Rabo, especially by their work ethic and determination to improve.
“This squad is for our training camp in Glasgow next week and we still have the option to add to it for the Six Nations.”
The five new faces are 21-year-old Kennedy, a product of the Alloa and Stirling County clubs who started the season as an elite development player with Edinburgh Rugby but was moved along the M8 on account of injury problems in the nine jersey at Glasgow. Kennedy, an age-grade and Scotland 7s internationalist, has looked sharp at both Glasgow and Stirling.
Sean Maitland, the 24-year-old New Zealand born wing, who qualifies for Scotland through parental grandparents born in Glasgow, was signed from Canterbury Crusaders in October and has already made a considerable impact at Scotstoun.
Pat MacArthur, 25, nurtured by the Ayr club and benefiting from the competition with Dougie Hall, is another to progress from age-grade honours as do his back-row colleagues, Ryan Wilson and Chris Fusaro, both 23.
Fusaro, part of the prolific Howe of Fife nursery, has been knocking on the door for some time now, having played on four occasions for Scotland A and with Ross Rennie and John Barclay both injured, he is the only specialist openside in the squad.
There are recalls for No 8 Johnnie Beattie, who missed out on selection for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and Richie Vernon, Alasdair Dickinson, Moray Low, Robert Harley and Duncan Weir who were not involved during the recent EMC Tests.
Scotland squad for training camp in Glasgow (January 20-23) ahead of RBS 6 Nations Championship:
Backs: Peter Murchie*, Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland*, Tommy Seymour*, Sean Lamont (all Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby), Max Evans (Castres), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar* Peter Horne*, Duncan Weir, Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Henry Pyrgos, Sean Kennedy* (both Glasgow Warriors) and Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby).
Forwards: Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Pat MacArthur* (all Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby), Moray Low, Alastair Kellock (both Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Grant Gilchrist* (Edinburgh Rugby), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Robert Harley, Ryan Wilson* (both Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Vernon (Sale Sharks), Chris Fusaro* (Glasgow Warriors).
* = Uncapped.
Invited to be with the squad as they recover from injury: Chris Cusiter, John Barclay and Jon Welsh (all Glasgow Warriors) Nick De Luca and Ross Rennie (both Edinburgh Rugby) and Scott Lawson (London Irish).
Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) will miss the camp for family reasons as his wife is expecting their second child.