Recall for Russell as Scotland name Guinness Six Nations squad

Finn Russell is set to feature for Scotland for the first time since the 2019 World Cup later this month after being named in Gregor Townsend’s autumn squad.

Finn Russell is set to feature for Scotland for the first time since the 2019 World Cup later this month after being named in Gregor Townsend’s autumn squad.

The 40-man squad, which covers Scotland’s final Guinness Six Nations match against Wales on October 31 as well as the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup, will be captained by Stuart Hogg and includes three uncapped players.

Russell’s return will whet the appetite of Scotland supporters, with the 28-year-old looking to take his sparkling club form for Racing 92 on to the international stage.

The fly-half, who could win his 50th cap this autumn, will be up against his international skipper Hogg in Saturday’s European Champions Cup final before joining up with the Scotland squad.

Duhan van der Merwe is the standout name among the uncapped trio, the South African-born Edinburgh wing having become eligible for selection over the summer.

Van der Merwe led the way in the Guinness PRO14 last season when it came to clean breaks (32), defenders beaten (80) and metres gained (971) and Townsend has wasted no time in giving the 25-year-old an opportunity at international level.

Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble and Harlequins scrum-half Scott Steele are the other potential debutants in the squad, while Steele’s clubmate James Lang has received a first call-up since 2018.

London Irish flanker Blair Cowan returns for the first time since 2016, while Glasgow duo Richie Gray and Rob Harley feature having missed the Guinness Six Nations matches earlier in the year.

Scotland begin their autumn fixtures with a warm-up match against Georgia on October 23 before travelling to Parc y Scarlets to round off their Guinness Six Nations campaign the following weekend.

Townsend’s side will then take on Italy, France and Fiji in Pool B of the Autumn Nations Cup.

Townsend said: “We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general.

“There was a strong feeling that we were growing as a team during the Six Nations earlier this year, making progress from game-to-game as well as building closer bonds within the squad.

“Our aim is to keep this momentum going as we take on Georgia and Wales before competing in the Autumn Nations Cup in November.

“The squad we have selected is formed by the majority of the players we worked with in the Six Nations alongside players who have grabbed their opportunity in the past few weeks and have been in form for their respective teams.

“Given the lack of games since March, there will be opportunities for players out-with the squad to break into our group over the next few weeks, but for now the focus is on this group that will be in camp from tomorrow.

“It will be great to see some familiar faces, welcome a few back into our squad and also introduce some new players to Test match rugby.”

Scotland squad for Guinness Six Nations/Autumn Nations Cup


Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 25 caps Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh) – 15 caps Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps Blair Cowan (London Irish) – 17 caps Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors) – 7 caps Matt Fagerson – (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 42 caps Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 57 caps Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 3 caps Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 37 caps Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 38 caps Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 18 caps Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 7 caps Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 7 caps Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 5 caps Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 25 caps George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 32 caps

BACKS Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 11 caps Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 18 caps Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) – 76 caps (Captain) George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh) – 4 caps Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 21 caps James Lang (Harlequins) – 2 caps Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 48 caps Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 32 caps Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 49 caps Scott Steele (Harlequins) – uncapped Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – uncapped Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors) – 28 caps