A dozen members of the victorious Scotland Club International squad from last season have been named in an extended training squad ahead of next month’s matches against their Welsh and Irish counterparts. A squad of 35 players will gather at Murrayfield on Sunday for training in preparation for the matches against Wales (the first ever meeting between the countries at this level) on Friday 8 February at Caerphilly (kick-off 2.30pm) and against Ireland at Donnybrook, Dublin on Friday 22 February (kick-off, 7.30pm).
Scotland head coach Ian Rankin said: “It’s good to have a nucleus of players available from last season but it’s also good to reflect that two of our squad from last season (centre John Houston and hooker Steven Lawrie) are in Edinburgh’s 22 for their Heineken Cup match against Toulouse on Saturday as the club international can be the springboard to the professional tier, as well as being an opportunity to wear the blue jersey in its own right.”
Those involved in last season’s 18-11 win against the Irish were wingers Marc Teague and Rory Couper, centre Graham Thomson, prop Bruce McNeil, locks Andy Adam and Damien Kelly, back-row Tam McVie, Ben Fisher and Angus Martyn, hooker Scott Burnett and utility backs Matt Coupar and Andrew Skeen.
Rankin added that the selection process for the squad had begun back in September with feedback sought from club coaches on performances. All 12 teams in the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership Division 1 are represented in the squad, while there are also players from Premiership Divisions 2 and 3 as well.
Scotland Club International extended training squad: Backs: Malcolm Clapperton, Rory Couper (both Boroughmuir), Matt Coupar (Edinburgh Accies), Steve Gordon (Glasgow Hawks), Colin Goudie (Heriot’s), Rory Hutton (Hawick), Andy McMahon (Currie), Jamie Murray (Melrose), Craig Parker (Biggar), Stephen Ruddick (Boroughmuir), Richard Snedden (Currie), Andrew Skeen (Watsonians), Marc Teague (Heriot’s), Graham Thomson (Dundee HSFP), Graham Wilson (Heriot’s)
Forwards: Andy Adam, Scott Burnett (both Currie), Sean Crombie (Boroughmuir), Craig Deacons (Stirling County), Ben Fisher (Boroughmuir), Damien Kelly (Ayr), Freddie Lait (Boroughmuir), Matt Landels (Hawick), Ally Maclay (Glasgow Hawks), Bruce McNeil, Tam McVie (both Heriot’s), Angus Martyn (Boroughmuir), Garry Mountford (Stirling County), George Oommen (Dundee HSFP), Ed Stuart (Edinburgh Accies), Steve Turnbull (Heriot’s), Jon Welsh (GHA), Ross Weston (Currie), Andy Wilson (Hawick) and Craig Wilson (Kirkcaldy).
Head coach - Ian Rankin (Dundee HSFP);
Assistant coach - George Breckenridge (Heriot’s);
Team manager - Grant Wilson (Boroughmuir).