Hugh Blake shrugs off call-up controversy

Hugh Blake.  Picture: SNS
Hugh Blake. Picture: SNS
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New Scotland call-up Hugh Blake has pleaded for the chance to show he is worthy of a Dark Blue jersey.

The Edinburgh back-rower only stepped off a plane from his native New Zealand last month and has yet to even play for the Capital club.

Most Scotland fans had no idea who this latest ‘Kilted Kiwi’ was when Vern Cotter handed him a place in his squad for the upcoming Six Nations at the expense of former skipper Kelly Brown and on-form John Barclay – but Cotter insists Blake has a set of skills that no-other born-and-bred Scot possesses.

Now the 22-year-old wants the opportunity to prove his fellow New Zealander right.

He said: “Yeah, my call-up has come as a surprise. I’ve come over at such a young age with ambitions to eventually play for Scotland.

“It’s all happened earlier than expected but I’m honoured and psyched to be a part of it.

“Some quality players have been left out of the side who are Scotland legends. There’s a bit of controversy there and I’ve been in the headlines. But I can’t do anything about that.

“My message to people would be to ask them to be open-minded. I’m new. I didn’t select the team. I’m just going to be trying my best over the next few days to try to eventually play for Scotland.

“Vern Cotter has done his research and I’m just going to do my best for the fans and for Scotland rugby. I just want people to give me a chance.”