Hadden hints at Scots Lions

Scotland coach Frank Hadden has today announced which of his county's players will be able to use the Six Nations as a stepping stone to Lions selection later this summer. [more]

Hadden hints at Scots Lions

Scotland coach Frank Hadden has today announced which of his county’s players will be able to use the Six Nations as a stepping stone to Lions selection later this summer.

Hadden has named a 33-man squad, with former Lions tourists Chris Cusiter, Simon Taylor and Jason White all included.

Stade Francais back row Taylor was a Lion in 2001 and was again selected in 2005 but injury cut short his tour to Australia and then prevented him from playing a single fixture in New Zealand four years later. 

Cusiter and White both toured in 2005 (the latter as a late replacement for Richard Hill) but neither featured in the three-match Test series. 

Former Scotland captain White is named in the squad despite currently being out of action after hand surgery.

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Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross and Glasgow fly-half Ruaridh Jackson will be looking for their first international caps but there is no place for Scarlets lock Scott MacLeod who was cleared of doping allegations in late 2008.

Cross travelled to Argentina with the senior set up but didn’t feature against the Pumas, while Jackson was a member of the Scotland A squad last summer having only been promoted to the professional ranks at Glasgow in May of last year.

"I’m delighted by the number of players who are putting up their hands as genuine candidates for international selection," said Hadden, who will be taking charge of his fourth Six Nations campaign.

"The victories of both pro-teams last weekend and the manner in which they achieved their results is very encouraging.”

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow were in impressive form in round five of the Heineken Cup, with the capital-city side comfortably defeating Castres at Murrayfiled while Glasgow shocked the rugby world with a stunning away win against Toulouse.

Hadden will be hopeful that his players can take their club form into the international arena when Scotland begin their campaign against Wales in Edinburgh on February 8.

"Momentum is vital in such a short round of matches so we know the importance of starting well and getting a big Scottish crowd behind us,” added Hadden.

"Wales are the current Grand Slam champions. Their regional format is working efficiently and paying dividends. 

"They are a settled, star-studded side and they proved with their win against Australia during the autumn Tests that they are currently one of the best sides in the world."

Scotland will meet up this Monday for a three-day training camp ahead of the clash with Wales.

Scotland squad

Backs: Mike Blair (captian), Ben Cairns (both Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Thom Evans, Max Evans (both Glasgow Warriors), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison, Dan Parks (both Glasgow Warriors), Chris Paterson, Hugo Southwell and Simon Webster (all Edinburgh) 

Forwards: John Barclay, Kelly Brown (both Glasgow Warriors), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Scott Gray (Northampton Saints), Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Craig Hamilton, Jim Hamilton (both Edinburgh), Nathan Hines (Perpignan), Allister Hogg, Allan Jacobsen (both Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Simon Taylor (Stade Francais), Jason White (Sale Sharks)

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