Six Nations: Shock Scots call for Edinburgh’s Blake

Hugh Blake is yet to make a full appearance for Edinburgh
Hugh Blake is yet to make a full appearance for Edinburgh
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SCOTLAND rugby coach Vern Cotter today called up four uncapped Edinburgh players for this year’s Six Nations Championship.

Among the 32-man squad are 21-year-old scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22-year-old forwards Ben Toolis and Hugh Blake, and 24-year-old back-row Hamish Watson.

New Zealand-born Blake, who arrived in Scotland from Super Rugby side Highlanders in December, comes into the squad despite having not yet made a full appearance for Edinburgh.

Hidalgo-Clyne has been in excellent form for the BT Murrayfield outfit while back-row Watson is another to have played through the Scottish age-grade sides and come through the club’s development programme following his move north from the Leicester Tigers Academy four years ago.

Toolis, a 6ft 7in lock, has stepped into the breach for the injured Grant Gilchrist for his club, and now country, since he joined the side’s academy after moving from Australia in the summer of 2013.

The quartet will join a further seven of their Edinburgh team-mates, including Greig Tonks, selected for Scotland for the first time since his positional switch to stand-off, having made his first and only international appearance at full-back against Samoa on the 2013 summer tour.

Glasgow Warriors continue to contribute the majority of the squad, with 15 players included.

Forwards: Hugh Blake (Edinburgh Rugby), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan, Geoff Cross (both London Irish), David Denton, Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Castres), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Jim Hamilton (Saracens), Rob Harley, Euan Murray, Gordon Reid (all Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson (both Edinburgh Rugby), Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors).

Backs: Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar, (Glasgow Warriors) Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne (both Glasgow Warriors) Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester), Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell (all Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Tonks, Tim Visser (both Edinburgh Rugby).