Scotland recall Sam Skinner to Six Nations squad ahead of Ireland game

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has recalled Exeter Chiefs forward Sam Skinner in the Six Nations squad ahead of the fourth round clash against Ireland.

Skinner has played 10 Tests for the Dark Blues since his international debut in 2018 and is now set to play his first international game this year after impressing for Exeter in the recently concluded Premiership game against Bath where he scored two tries.

The squad also sees two more additions with Glasgow Warriors full-back Rufus McLean called up for the first time while Edinburgh's Nick Haining also gets a place after last featuring for Scotland in November last year.

"I was obviously gutted and disappointed not to be involved from the start," said Skinner.

"I just tried to control what I could control, play as well as I could and I'm grateful to be back up here.

"Ireland are a quality side. The way they're talking and the way they've been playing, they seem to be in a really strong, confident place at the minute, so there's a hell of a battle coming up this weekend and, if I'm involved, I can't wait to get stuck in."

Richie Gray misses out as he is recovering from a head knock he sustained while playing for his club Glasgow while Zander Fagerson and Adam Hastings are currently serving their four and three weeks ban respectively.

Scotland's third round game against France was postponed after 11 players in the Les Bleus' camp tested positive for Covid-19 and Skinner said they are excited about facing Fabien Galthié's side at a later date.

"As players, we want the game to go ahead," he added.

"We don't want freebie points at all. I'm sure spectators want to see it as well, so I'm all for making the game happen, definitely.

"While playing for Exeter, we lost to Toulouse technically because of the same situation.

"Everyone's in the same boat here and, if there's a way of making the game go ahead, let's make it happen."

Scotland are currently at fifth place in the table after a win and a defeat apiece in two games and will lock horns with Ireland next at Murrayfield Stadium on 14th March.

Scotland Squad:

Backs: Jamie Dobie, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Stuart Hogg, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, James Lang, Sean Maitland, Rufus McLean, Duhan van der Merwe, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Scott Steele, Duncan Taylor, Jaco van der Walt.

Forwards: Ewan Ashman, Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Dave Cherry, Alex Craig, Scott Cummings, Mattt Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Nick Haining, Rob Harley, Oli Kebble, WP Nel, Cornell du Preez, Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Hamish Watson.