FORMER Gala back-row Gary Graham is set to win his first cap for Scotland after turning his back on England.

The son of the Netherdale club's former head coach, George, is one of seven new faces in Gregor Townsend's squad for the forthcoming Six Nations campaign.

Graham signed a professional contract for Jersey Reds after leaving Gala, and now turns out for Aviva Premiership side Newcastle Falcons.

Although the 26-year-old was included in the long-squad for England last season, Graham has now sworn his loyalty to Scotland.

Other new faces in Townsend's 39-man squad are David Cherry of Edinburgh, Jake Kerr of Leicester Tigers, Grant Stewart, D’Arcy Rae and Sam Johnson and Edinburgh's Chris Dean.

Hawick duo Stuart Hogg and Darcy Graham both look set to add to their caps while Selkirk's Lee Jones will also be vying for a starting place against Italy on February 2 at Murrayfield.

Jedburgh's Greig Laidlaw has resumed captaincy for the campaign.

Scotland finished last year’s championship in third place with three wins for the second time since five nations became six.

Head coach Townsend said: "There’s certainly been a lot of improvement from this group of players in recent seasons and I believe there’s much more to come.

"They’ve a genuine desire to get better and reach their potential in what is a huge year for our sport.

"In the past 18 months we’ve played 18 test matches and have introduced 18 new players to test-level rugby.

"Once again, our squad features players aiming to take that step, which is a testimony to their performances this season and the growing strength in depth of Scottish rugby.

"We are very proud of what a number of our players have achieved since the Autumn Tests, particularly with Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors both aiming to make the last eight of the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time and both sitting in strong positions in their respective Guinness PRO14 conferences.

“It is a privilege for our players to be involved in the Guinness Six Nations, which is such a prestigious tournament and will be highly competitive once again.

“We look forward to taking on the challenge of Italy and working hard as a squad over the next two weeks to deliver a winning performance.”

Scotland Squad


Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors)

Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors)

Simon Berghan (Edinburgh)

Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors)

David Cherry (Edinburgh)

Allan Dell (Edinburgh)

Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh)

Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons)

Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)

John Hardie (Newcastle Falcons)

Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers)

Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)

Willem Nel (Edinburgh)

D’Arcy Rae (Glasgow Warriors)

Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)

Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)

Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors)

Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks)

Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors)

Ben Toolis (Edinburgh)

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)

Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)


Chris Dean (Edinburgh)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh)

Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors)

Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors)

Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons)

Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors)

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)

George Horne (Glasgow Warriors)

Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors)

Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors)

Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors)

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)

Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne)

Sean Maitland (Saracens)

Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)

Finn Russell (Racing 92)

Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)