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Cotter names Scotland squad for 2017 RBS 6 Nations

Cotter names Scotland squad for 2017 RBS 6 Nations

Vern Cotter has named his 37-man Scotland squad for the 2017 RBS 6 Nations and there are four British & Irish Lions included.

Vern Cotter and Scotland finished fourth in the 2016 Championship.

Vern Cotter has named his 37-man Scotland squad for the 2017 RBS 6 Nations and there are four British & Irish Lions included.

2013 tourists Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Richie Gray plus 2009 tourist Ross Ford are all named in a settled-looking squad that will be captained by scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.

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Last year the Scots claimed victories over both Italy and France – the first time they have won two games in a Championship since 2013.

And they backed that up with an impressive autumn that saw them down Argentina and Georgia and slip to the narrowest of defeats to Australia.

Re-called to Cotter’s squad is Matt Scott – the centre who missed out this autumn but has been in fine form for Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership.

Two uncapped players in prop Simon Berghan and back-rower Cornell Du Preez are also included.

“It’s a well-balanced and exciting group that have played a lot of rugby together, know each other well and are ambitious to do well in a Scotland jersey,” said Cotter.

“I think if we get our mindset right we can be competitive and push for wins in every game in this campaign.

“When you look down the list of names from Greig Laidlaw as captain, a solid locking group that’s been together for a while, a familiar group of loose forwards who have played consistently well for their clubs, with John Hardie expected to return to fitness shortly.

“The backline gives us a little versatility with Huw Jones able to play several positions, as can Duncan Taylor. Duncan Weir returns alongside Finn [Russell] who’ll be working to run games, with settled back-three options available to us once again.”
 

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— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 18, 2017

The 2017 Championship sees Scotland kick off their campaign by welcoming Ireland to BT Murrayfield.

Cotter added: “We now prepare to enter the RBS 6 Nations and face our first opposition, Ireland, at home next month who are now ranked highly in the world, and deservedly so, after wins over New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, so it’s a tough start.

“I think the addition of bonus points will probably open up the games a little more and I think that’s a good thing. I think we’ll see a little more play and perhaps a few more risks in the game, which is exciting.”
 
The squad will convene in Edinburgh on Monday (23 January) for a three-day camp at Oriam – Scotland’s sports performance centre – ahead of the national team’s opener against Ireland at BT Murrayfield in just over a fortnight’s time (Saturday 4 February, kick-off 2.25pm) – live on BBC.
 
SCOTLAND 37-MAN SQUAD FOR 2017 RBS 6 NATIONS
FORWARDS
PROP (7)
Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped
Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – 3 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) – 15 caps
Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons) – 11 caps
HOOKER (3)
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 102 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps
LOCK (5)
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 28 caps
Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 60 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 15 caps
Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby) – 1 cap
BACK-ROW (7)
John Barclay (Scarlets) – 55 caps
Cornell Du Preez (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped
John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 13 caps
Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 5 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 23 caps
BACKS
SCRUM-HALF (3)
Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 56 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
STAND-OFF (2)
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps
Duncan Weir (Edinburgh Rugby) – 23 caps
CENTRE (5)
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Huw Jones (Stormers) – 3 caps
Matt Scott (Gloucester) – 36 caps
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 18 caps
BACK-THREE (5)
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 48 caps
Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 26 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 31 caps
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 28 caps
 
Not currently considered through injury: David Denton (hamstring, Bath Rugby), Alasdair Dickinson (foot, Edinburgh Rugby), Pete Horne (ankle, Glasgow Warriors), Rory Hughes (knee, Glasgow Warriors), Rory Sutherland (groin, Edinburgh Rugby).
 

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