Following Glasgow Warrior’s 27-20 win over the Cardiff Blues yesterday, Scotland coach Vern Cotter has called up recently returned trio Henry Pyrgos, Alex Dunbar and Fraser Brown for Sunday’s match against France.
All three players have spend significant time on the physio’s table recently and have been unavailable for 6 Nations duty up until now, so this will come as a big boost ahead of the weekend. Plus, with Matt Scott taking what looked like a nasty injury to his arm in Friday’s defeat to Connacht, Dunbar may well be needed.
Contrastingly, London Irish duo Blair Cowan and Sean Maitland have been dropped from the squad.
Whether they’ll all make the 23 remains to be seen. Stuart McInally has been an more than able deputy for Ross Ford at hooker, so Brown will have to impress to get his first touch since ‘that’ ill fated lineout in the Rugby World Cup Quarter Final.
Then there’s the small matter of Duncan Taylor. The man’s been on fire for Saracens and scored a cracking solo try against Wales at the Principality stadium. It would be more than a little harsh to lose his place, especially if you saw his performance in the first half of Saracens vs Northampton. The smart money would be on Taylor to start and Dunbar to come on from the bench, that is unless Cotter wants Taylor to cover wing and centre as he did against England.
Finally there’s Henry Pyrgos. So far this 6 Nations Championship Greig Laidlaw has gone relatively unchallenged with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne struggling to make much of an impact from the bench and unable to recapture the form that thrust him in the spotlight last season. So it seems likely that Pyrgos, with all his game control and experience, will be picked to backup Laildlaw on the bench.
What do you think of the callups? Let us know your team picks in the comments below.
FULL SCOTLAND SQUAD
Forwards (20): John Barclay (Scarlets), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), David Denton (Bath Rugby), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Castres), John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Stuart McInally, Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby), Gordon Reid, Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).
Backs (16): Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Grayson Hart (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester Rugby), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Harlequins), Duncan Weir (Edinburgh Rugby).