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Scott Johnson

Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown and Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter (right)

Kelly Brown is determined to work his way back into the Scotland squad after being overlooked for the Six Nations.

The 32-year-old former captain failed to make Vern Cotter’s 32-man pool but is convinced he can still add to his 64 caps.

“It’s clearly disappointing, but selection is a funny thing,” Brown said.

“I want to play for Scotland and I certainly feel I can play for Scotland. I don’t feel over the hill yet.”

Saracens flanker Brown began last season’s Six Nations campaign as captain, although he was dropped later in the tournament. Since then Cotter has replaced Scott Johnson as head coach and Brown believes he has plenty still to offer, with the World Cup later in the year.

Brown has played once under Cotter, in a 19-17 win over Canada in June, but was not selected for the Autumn internationals.

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Commonwealth Games 2014The rugby year has not pegged out just yet but, even before the first of the thunderous 1872 Cup clashes between Glasgow and Edinburgh, the sport seems to have lapsed into reflective mode.

So, too, your correspondent, croaking towards 2014’s finishing line in a clapped-out but generally contented frame of mind. So when the stockings have been hung, I shall allow myself a few moments of rheumy-eyed and entirely random reflection on what made this twelve-month memorable .

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BT Sport Scottish Rugby AcademyScottish Rugby today unveiled the first of at least four BT Sport Academies that will be opened around the country to nurture the best young Scottish talent to become the stars of tomorrow.

Where Caledonia leads today, the Borders, East and West will follow with all being operational by the 2015-16 season.

“The Academies are the cornerstone of our determination to create a new era for Scottish Rugby,” declared chief executive Mark Dodson at the opening of the Caledonia Academy at the University of Aberdeen’s Hillhead campus.

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TommyAllenWhen interim head coach Scott Johnson and the rest of the Scotland management group sit down to select the team to play Ireland in Dublin on the opening weekend of the Six Nations, one name that will not be bandied about is that of Tommy Allan, despite the player having turned out for the Scotland Under 17, 18 and Under 20 teams.

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ScotlandKieran LowKieran Low is not one to beat about the bush. The 22-year-old was born in the south of England and grew up in Chichester with a Welsh-born father and mother who hails from Scunthorpe, but if he is handed an opportunity to stride out on to Murrayfield this autumn, one that he never grew up dreaming of, it will be the highlight of his life so far.

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British & Irish Lions 2013Scotland prop Ryan Grant has been called into the British and Irish Lions squad ahead of the clash with Queensland Reds.  The Glasgow loose-head had been in South Africa with Scotland for a quadrangular tournament.

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Scotland1jonathan humprheysA man who has steered his club to the most league titles in Celtic rugby has today been appointed to the position of Scotland forwards coach.

Jonathan Humphreys, the former Welsh hooker and captain, will join the Scotland management ahead of the quadrangular tournament with Samoa, South Africa and Italy in June. He will be on a two year contract.

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Scotland1Grant Gilchrist, the 22-year-old Edinburgh Rugby lock, will win his first cap for Scotland in Saturday’s final 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship match against France in Paris.

Gilchrist, the 6ft 8ins product of the Alloa and Stirling County clubs, replaces the injured Richie Gray. The only other change to the starting line-up sees the experienced Alasdair Strokosch preferred to Rob Harley at blindside flanker.

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Scotland1Two former international forwards will join interim head coach Scott Johnson’s Scotland management team for this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship. Meanwhile, two ex-Scotland locks will join forces with a former Scotland stand-off to coach the Scotland A team.

Erstwhile England No 8 Dean Ryan and Scotland hooker Stevie Scott will work alongside Johnson, defence coach Matt Taylor and specialist coaches Duncan Hodge and Massimo Cuttitta with the national team.

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