Head coach Andy Robinson has today announced a 36-strong squad as Scotland and Scotland A begin their preparations for next weekend’s matches against their Italian counterparts.
The squad will gather at Murrayfield on Sunday (21 February) ahead of both Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Italy at the Stadio Flaminio, Rome, on Saturday 27 February; and Scotland A’s match against Italy A in Biella on Friday 26 February.
Additional players will be called in for Scotland A duty next week but the enlarged squad will train together on Monday and Tuesday.
Both lock Nathan Hines (Leinster) and flanker Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester) who missed last weekend’s game in Cardiff through injury, are expected to be fit to take an active part in training.
Squad: Backs – Mike Blair, Ben Cairns (both Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison, Dan Parks (both Glasgow Warriors), Mark Robertson (Edinburgh), Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Nikki Walker (Ospreys)
Forwards – John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown (all Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford, Roddy Grant (both Edinburgh), Scott Gray (Northampton Saints), Richie Gray, Dougie Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald (both Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors).
Unavailable to train through injury: Jim Thompson (Edinburgh).
Invited to attend squad training: Simon Webster (Edinburgh).
Scotland’s cap centurion Chris Paterson is returning home from Cardiff today as medics are satisfied that he has recovered sufficiently from the kidney damage he sustained in Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales last week.
Meanwhile, Scotland wing Thom Evans has undergone a second operation on his neck at University Hospital in Cardiff and surgeons are pleased with his progress.
Scotland coach Andy Robinson visited both players in Cardiff yesterday. He said: “It was uplifting to speak to both players and hear first-hand that they’re both feeling better. Once again, on behalf of the Scotland team, I want to thank our own medical team, the Welsh Rugby Union medical personnel at the Millennium Stadium and all the staff at the University Hospital in Cardiff for the quite magnificent care they have delivered.”
Scotland team doctor James Robson said today: “Mossy (Chris Paterson) was discharged from hospital in Cardiff on Tuesday night. He has rested for a couple of days further in Cardiff and is now well enough to travel home with his wife Claire, which is excellent news.
“Thom, after discussion with his family and the surgeons who performed his initial operation, elected to undergo a second procedure to enhance his recovery.
“This surgery has now taken place. Thom is in good spirits and the surgeons are delighted with his progress.
“Thom has asked me to pass on his heart-felt thanks to the thousands of people who have expressed their support.
“At this stage I would expect that, if Thom’s recovery continues in the same vein, he will be able to return home next week.”