Dylan Richardson Scotland

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend named five uncapped players in his Six Nations squad but there was no place for Sharks flank Dylan Richardson. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

No space for Sharks flank in Scotland’s Six Nations squad

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend named five uncapped players in his Six Nations squad but there was no place for Sharks flank Dylan Richardson.

Dylan Richardson Scotland

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend named five uncapped players in his Six Nations squad but there was no place for Sharks flank Dylan Richardson. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend on Wednesday named five uncapped players in his 39-man Six Nations squad but there was no place for Gloucester flyhalf Adam Hastings nor Sharks flank Dylan Richardson.

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Saracens back-row forward Andy Christie and London Irish scrumhalf Ben White are among those hoping to make a Test debut during the tournament.

Rory Darge, Ben Vellacott and Kyle Rowe have also been included ahead of the Dark Blues’ tournament opener against England at Murrayfield on February 5.

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Bath centre Cameron Redpath, who impressed on debut against England last year, has recovered from injury and is now in contention for the match in Edinburgh. 

Stuart Hogg, fresh from becoming Scotland’s all-time leading try-scorer, retains the captaincy.

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Hogg is joined in the squad by fellow British & Irish Lions internationals Finn Russell, Ali Price, Zander Fagerson, Chris Harris, Rory Sutherland, Duhan van der Merwe and Hamish Watson.

Hastings, who came off the bench in Scotland’s defeat against world champions South Africa in November, is among the most notable omissions along with Fraser Brown, Sean Maitland and George Horne.

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Townsend, himself a former Scotland flyhalf, explained the omission of the 25-times capped Hastings, the son of Scotland great Gavin, saying: “We just feel at the moment Blair (Kinghorn) and Finn (Russell) are playing better.

“Adam knows he’s got things to work on, and if he works on them and shows his form, of course the door is still open for him and the others that missed the squad.”

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Townsend said he was happy with the players at his disposal.

“When you look through the squad this is the most competitive I’ve seen it in so many areas and that’s testament to the strength and depth we have,” he said.

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The recent relaxation of Covid restrictions in Scotland mean Townsend’s men will be roared on by a capacity Murrayfield crowd of 67 000 when they face England in the latest edition of rugby union’s oldest international fixture.

Despite enjoying away wins in behind-closed doors games over England – their first Calcutta Cup triumph at Twickenham in 38 years – and France, the Scots finished fourth in last season’s Six Nations due to narrow home defeats by Wales and Ireland.

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“Logic would say that it helped us because we won in London and Paris but we lost two games at home last year,” said Townsend.

“In normal seasons it’s been the other way round. But each game tells its own story and you’ve got to win whether there are crowds or not.”

“But Murrayfield helps us… the reception the players get when they run out onto the field, the anthems, the noise when they are playing well, you don’t get that in any other walk of life,” the former Scotland playmaker added.

“This year’s it’s back to being a ‘proper’ Six Nations with 60,70, 80,000 supporters behind the home team but that’s a challenge our team is ready for.”   

Scotland Six Nations squad

Backs: Mark Bennett (Edinburgh), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester/ENG), Stuart Hogg (Exeter/ENG, capt), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton/ENG), Sam Johnson (Glasgow), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Rufus McLean (Glasgow), Ali Price (Glasgow), Cameron Redpath (Bath/ENG), Kyle Rowe (London Irish/ENG), Finn Russell (Racing 92/FRA), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow), Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester/ENG), Ben Vellacott (Edinburgh), Ben White (London Irish/ENG)

Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Sale/ENG), Josh Bayliss (Bath/ENG), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Andy Christie (Saracens/ENG), Scott Cummings (Glasgow), Rory Darge (Glasgow), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Exeter/ENG), Nick Haining (Edinburgh), Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), Javan Sebastian (Scarlets/WAL), Sam Skinner (Exeter/ENG), Rory Sutherland (Worcester/ENG), George Turner (Glasgow), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)