Former Selkirk centre Alex Dunbar has been named in a revised Scotland squad for the NatWest 6 Nations, ahead of this Saturday’s round four test against Ireland in Dublin.
The ex-Souter was included in a new-look line-up by head coach Gregor Townsend, afer recovering from a thigh injury.
The squad – which increases in size from 36 to 40 for the forthcoming rounds – welcomes 10 players into the group, at the expense of six. Five of the seven ‘new’ faces, including Dunbar, are fit to play for the first time in the current campaign.
The others, who have also recovered from their respective injuries to be deemed eligible for selection, are Toulouse lock Richie Gray (calf), Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown (head), prop Zander Fagerson (foot) and Edinburgh Rugby prop Darryl Marfo (back).
The new additions are completed by Edinburgh Rugby back-row John Hardie and impressive young scrum-half George Horne, brother of Peter.
The final three amendments see Sale Sharks and Glasgow Warriors wings Byron McGuigan (hamstring) and Lee Jones (head) return from injury to re-join the group, while Edinburgh Rugby back-row Magnus Bradbury is reselected.
Three other Borders-connected players, who have become familiar faces in the national squad, retain their places – former Hawick full-back Stuart Hogg, Jedburgh-linked scrum half Greig Laidlaw, and Melrose prop forward Jamie Bhatti.
The match, at the Aviva Stadium, has a 2.15pm kick-off and is live on ITV.