Former Borders rugby stars in line for first Scotland caps

Former Borders rugby players Charlie Shiel, Rory Darge and Robin Hislop could be set to make their international debuts this summer.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 2:35 pm
Scrum half Charlie Shiel is one of 7 uncapped players named in the squad for this summer's matches (Pic: Ian MacNicol/Getty)

All three have been named by interim head coach Mike Blair in the 37 man squad, which contains a total of 17 uncapped players, for the games against England A, Romania and Georgia.

Edinburgh Rugby's Jamie Ritchie will captain the squad with former Hawick full back Stuart Hogg on tour with the British & Irish Lions squad along with seven other Scotland regulars and coaches Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy.

Scrum half Shiel, 23, was born in Melrose and is the son of former Borders Reviers and Scotland international Graham Shiel.

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He was one of three late call ups to the Scotland squad for this year’s Six Nations but did not make the test match squad.

However, after some recent impressive performances for Edinburgh in the Pro 14 and Rainbow Cup he looks set to compete with Glasgow Warriors’ George Horne for the number nine jersey this summer with first choice scrum half Ali Price also away to South Africa with the Lions.

Flanker Darge, 21, a former Melrose and Southern Knights player and a one time Scotland Under 20 captain, has also been competing in the Rainbow Cup with Glasgow Warriors.

He was a standout in Warriors’ 31-24 win over Edinburgh earlier this month and has also previously spent time in the Scotland set up without earning any minutes on the pitch.

Prop Hislop, 29, was an unfamiliar name to many when the squad was announced and currently plays in the third tier of English rugby with Rotherham Titans.

The former Edinburgh front row played for Hawick Wanderers as a youth and attended school at Langholm Academy.

Fellow prop Jamie Bhatti, another former Melrose player, is back in the squad looking to add to his 18 caps while yet another ex-Greenyards star Damien Hoyland returns to the fold for the first time since 2017.

The full group will convene on Tuesday, June 15, to prepare for the England A fixture on Sunday, June 27, with a smaller squad then travelling to Romania and Georgia for the two Test matches on July 10 and 17 respectively.