Uncapped Darge among 11 Warriors named in Scotland squad

Uncapped Darge among 11 Warriors named in Scotland squad

A Scotland squad containing 11 Glasgow Warriors will convene ahead of the opening match of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations, after Head Coach Gregor Townsend named his playing group for the opening match of the tournament against England at BT Murrayfield.

Openside flanker Rory Darge is the sole uncapped Warrior to be included in the squad, as the former Scotland U20 captain looks to earn his international debut at the third attempt, following the COVID-enforced cancellation of the 2021 summer tour and an injury prior to the Autumn Nations Series.

The call-up is just reward for the back-rower’s scintillating form in 2021/22 to date; his tally of 22 defenders beaten sees him sit fourth in the United Rugby Championship standings, whilst he also ranks in the top 10 for clean breaks and turnovers won.

Darge is joined in the back-row by club colleague Matt Fagerson, the number eight coming off the back of a try-scoring outing last weekend and having featured in all four of Scotland’s Autumn Nations Series fixtures.

Elder brother Zander is likewise included after playing in all four matches in the autumn, with the call-up arriving on the occasion of his 26th birthday.

Only Ali Price can better the tight-head’s tally of international caps, the British and Irish Lion’s total of 46 appearances for Scotland making him the most-capped Warrior in this squad.

Jamie Bhatti continues in the Scotland squad after making his first international start for two years in the November win over Japan, where he joins George Turner amongst the front-row options available to Townsend for the Calcutta Cup clash.

Similarly, Scott Cummings retains his place in the international fold after returning from injury against Japan, whilst Sam Johnson will look to add to his tally of 21 caps after being in fine form so far this campaign.

The flying Rufus McLean – who ranks third in the URC for clean breaks with eight, and fourth for metres gained with 375 – is included amongst the backs by Townsend, with Sione Tuipulotu, who leads Glasgow Warriors in tries with four to date this season, rewarded for his sensational form in both the URC and Heineken Champions Cup with selection in the centre.

Kyle Steyn completes the Glasgow contingent, with the winger looking to build upon his four-try showing against Tonga on his first start in a Scotland shirt back in the Autumn Nations Series.

Scotland open their Guinness Six Nations campaign at home to England on Saturday 5 February, kick-off 4.45pm.

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