Laidlaw back as familiar Borders names join Scottish squad

Greig Laidlaw - back in Scottish contention for the NatWest Six Nations Championship (picture by Ian Rutherford).
Greig Laidlaw - back in Scottish contention for the NatWest Six Nations Championship (picture by Ian Rutherford).

Borders rugby players who distinguished themselves in last season’s Six Nations campaign, and the summer and autumn internationals, have been named once again by Gregor Townsend in a 40-man squad for this year’s Six Nations tournament.

Familiar names such as Hogg, Dunbar and Jones are joined by experienced scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, who spent his early years in Jedburgh, back after injury.

Ex-Hawick favourite Hogg hasn’t played since a hip injury in the warm-up deprived him of a place in the victorious squad last year against Australia – but he is back, and more highlights are likely to be expected of him.

Two players with Selkirk connections – Alex Dunbar and Lee Jones – are also named, alongside Melrose and Glasgow prop forward Jamie Bhatti who made his debut last year.

Another favourite Hawick player, Darcy Graham, has also been invited to train with the group.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, said: “With the announcement of this squad, we are now entering the key stages of our preparation for this year’s NatWest 6 Nations Championship.

“It’s a bigger squad than we originally planned –which is largely down to the competition for places – with a number of players having performed well in the Autumn Tests and a few others putting their hands up for selection in recent weeks.”

“We are looking forward to working with them and the rest of the squad to ensure we build on the momentum the players generated in 2017,” added Townsend.

Four uncapped players have also been selected for the line-up.

Scotland begin their campaign on February 3 against Wales in Cardiff, followed by fixtures against France at RBS Murrayfield on February 11, England at Murrayfield on February 24, Ireland in Dublin on March 10, concluding in Rome against Italy on March 17.