Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend expressed his delight at naming in-form Bath centre Cam Redpath in his 2021 Guinness Six Nations squad.
Redpath, son of ex-Scotland captain Bryan, was courted by England and was even named in a summer tour squad by Eddie Jones, but was forced to withdraw from the 2018 trip to South Africa due to injury.
Now, he’s followed in the footsteps of Gary Graham and pledged his allegiance to the country his father represented on 60 occasions.
Townsend said: “We are obviously delighted to be able to announce Cam in the squad.”
‘He’s an excellent player’
The Scotland coach added that conversations with Redpath have been ongoing for “a wee while”, adding: “We offered him the chance to be in our squad in the autumn but he felt it wasn’t the right time. Now he has come to a decision and he has chosen Scotland.
“He is an excellent player. He has played regularly for Bath this season and he has a lot more to bring, a lot more growth in this game over the next few years. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Townsend also revealed it was not a ‘hard sell’ by him, or Scottish Rugby, to convince the 21-year-old.
“He came to the decision on his own,” Townsend said in a Zoom call this afternoon.
“His dad obviously played for Scotland, captained Scotland so I imagine the family will be really proud. But it was Cam’s decision.
“I’ve seen him play since he came through as an 18-year-old. I’ve chatted to him about his game on and off over the last few years.
“Since the summer he started to play a bit more regularly and we have chatted more about the opportunity to play for Scotland.
“I imagine it has been a tough decision for him over the weeks and months but we are delighted he has come to this decision and he is looking forward to camp and we are looking forward to working with him.
Decision-making – on and off the pitch
Redpath will compete with James Lang and and Duncan Taylor for the number 12 jersey, and Townsend is looking forward to working with the former England age-grade cap.
“He’s a bright lad, a mature lad – he’s already in the leadership group at Bath – and he’s made up his own mind.
“We certainly appreciate and value players who are decision makers, are highly skilled, are competitive and who can lead, and Cam is one of those players.”
Asked about what role dad Bryan will have made in the decision-making process, Townsend added: “He’s fortunate in that he’s got a father who knows international rugby and coached Scotland Under-20s a couple of years ago so is still very close to the modern game.
“So, he can ask advice on things on Scotland around the camp and the type of rugby we look to play, but I imagine he’s made that assessment himself.”
Townsend also revealed Redpath is also unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak that has affected Bath this week.
“He is one of the players who does not need to isolate and nor has he picked up the virus.
“We will monitor that and I’m sure there will be further testing there this week and we will cross our fingers that he will be able to join us on Sunday like everyone else.”