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Scotland Six Nations squad: Gregor Townsend names Ben Healy among four uncapped players, including England-capped Ruaridh McConnochie

Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man Scotland squad for Six Nations; the panel includes four uncapped players, with Munster's Ben Healy eligible through his mother; England-capped Ruaridh McConnochie is included, after becoming eligible under new International Rugby Board rule

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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says this could be his last Six Nations in charge of the national team

Ben Healy is one of four uncapped players included in Gregor Townsend's 40-player Scotland squad for the Six Nations, as is England-capped Ruaridh McConnochie.

The 23-year-old Munster stand-off, who will join Edinburgh in the summer, was born in Ireland and represented the U20s but qualifies for Scotland through his mother and will provide back-up for Finn Russell at No 10.

Bath wing McConnochie, who has two previous Test caps for England and travelled to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan in Eddie Jones' squad, is another headline inclusion.

England's Ruaridh McConnochie
Image: Ruaridh McConnochie, who has two Test caps for England and travelled to the World Cup in Japan, has been picked by Scotland
Ben Healy has been included in Scotland's Six Nations squad after signing for Edinburgh from Munster
Image: Ben Healy has been included in Scotland's Six Nations squad after signing for Edinburgh from Munster

McConnochie, 31, became eligible for Scotland under the International Rugby Board rule allowing a change to another nation once more than three years have elapsed since a last Test appearance.

Glasgow centre Stafford McDowall and Leicester second-row Cameron Henderson are the other three included who are yet to feature for the national team.

Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson are included despite being sidelined by injury in recent months, but Darcy Graham, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge and Adam Hastings - who have also been battling fitness issues - have not made the squad.

Scotland's Six Nations fixtures

  • vs England - Saturday February 4 (Twickenham)
  • vs Wales - Saturday February 11 (Murrayfield)
  • vs France - Sunday February 26 (Stade de France)
  • vs Ireland - Sunday March 12 (Murrayfield)
  • vs Italy - Saturday March 18 (Murrayfield)

Scotland Six Nations squad - forwards

Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 6 caps, Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby) 3 caps, Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps, Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps, Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps, Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps, Andy Christie (Saracens) 4 caps, Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps, Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps, Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps, Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 54 caps, Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 59 caps, Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 72 caps, Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 69 caps, Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers) uncapped, WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 50 caps, Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) - CAPTAIN - 36 caps, Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps, Javan Sebastian (Scarlets) 3 caps, Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps, Rory Sutherland (Ulster Rugby) 22 caps, George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 29 caps, Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 54 caps

Scotland Six Nations squad - backs

Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 39 caps, Ben Healy (Munster Rugby) uncapped, Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 96 caps, George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps, Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps, Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps, Sean Maitland (Saracens) 53 caps, Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby) uncapped, Stafford McDowell (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped, Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 58 caps, Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 4 caps, Finn Russell (Racing 92) 65 caps, Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps, Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps, Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps, Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps, Ben White (London Irish) 9 caps

Jamie Ritchie, who captained Scotland during the Autumn Nations Series, continues in that role, while the familiar figures of Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg are all named.

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Townsend is excited for the year ahead as preparations for the World Cup continue, with one eye also on Healy to see what he makes of the opportunity that has been given to him.

"The Six Nations around the corner is a very exciting time and the one year out of the four we as coaches can't wait for is the World Cup year.

"I think rugby is so competitive within the Six Nations but also world rugby so really, really fortunate and grateful to be involved.

"Well, just over the last two or three weeks, Ben played really well off the bench against Ulster and then the following week started against the Lions and I was impressed with him that night.

"He's a different player to the 10s we have had in the squad but he is a very good attacker, both in terms of the system and his own individual strengths, and he has a very good kicking game.

"To have someone we can call on of Ben's ability when we have lost Adam Hastings and Ross Thompson to injuries is a real positive."

Scotland get their Six Nations campaign under way with a visit to Twickenham to face England on February 4 before a home clash against Wales (February 11) in the second round.

A trip to France then awaits (February 11) before two home ties against Ireland (March 12) and Italy (March 18) to finish their tournament.

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