Scotland call-up Gary Graham as replacement for Blade Thomson

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has included Gary Graham
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has included Gary Graham

Newcastle Falcons flanker Gary Graham has been called up to the Scotland's autumn international squad ahead of their upcoming clash against South Africa to be played on Saturday.

The decision follows after Scarlets flanker Blade Thomson has not yet recovered from a concussion.

The 26-year-old was part of Scotland Under 20 side and represented them in the U20 Six Nations and Junior World Cup in 2012. He was also included in England's training camp in December last year having qualified to play for them through residency but did not find any breakthrough with the red rose team.

"I'm Scottish through-and-through but England asked me first as I'm eligible through residency," said Graham.

"It would have been a silly opportunity to pass up, as I hadn't been selected for a Scotland squad since U20s.

"I'm absolutely delighted to get this opportunity. I phoned [head coach] Gregor Townsend to assure him I wanted to play for Scotland, and always wanted to play for my country. It's where I'm from and where I played most of my rugby."

Meanwhile, head coach Gregor Townsend is pleased that Gary is heading to the Scotland side.

"It has become a competitive environment for dual-qualified players recently and we know these are not easy decisions for players," he added.

"We've been tracking Gary since he was at Jersey and his form over the past 12 months at Newcastle has moved him closer to playing international rugby.

"We look forward to welcoming him into our squad for this week's camp."

After beating Fiji 54-17 last weekend, Scotland will face South Africa and Argentina on 17th and 24th November respectively in their remainder of the autumn international campaign.

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