Six Nations: Scotland call up six players to squad for France clash amid host of withdrawals

By Sports Desk February 21, 2022

Scotland have called up six new players to their Six Nations squad ahead of their meeting with France after a series of injuries and withdrawals.

Gregor Townsend's side sit fourth in the table after a 20-17 opening-round win over England preceded a loss to Wales by the same scoreline.

Scotland next face leaders France on Saturday at Murrayfield, but they will be without a host of familiar faces as more names were added to their growing absentee list.

Rory Sutherland, Javan Sebastian, Jonny Gray, Scott Cummings and Cam Redpath have all returned to their respective clubs after suffering injuries.

As a result, Glasgow Warriors pair Ollie Smith and Kiran McDonald could be in line for their first international caps after being drafted in.

Simon Berghan, Oli Kebble, Marshall Sykes and James Lang are the other four introductions to the camp, with Josh Bayliss also available after missing the opening two games due to concussion.

"This is a great opportunity for the new players to impress," Townsend said after the announcement of the alterations to his playing squad.

"There are often changes made to the squad throughout the championship and it is a challenge we are much better equipped to deal with given our current squad depth."

Forward Gray is set to miss the rest of the tournament with an ankle injury, but Townsend added that the rest of the absentees will be monitored before the final two games against Italy and Ireland.

Related items

  • Uncapped teenager Moodie named in Springboks squad for Australia tour Uncapped teenager Moodie named in Springboks squad for Australia tour

    Uncapped utility back Canan Moodie has been called up to the South Africa squad for the first time for the tour of Australia.

    Moodie was included in a 34-man squad on Monday for two Rugby Championship encounters with the Wallabies.

    The 19-year-old gets the nod in the absence of suspended wing Kurt-Lee Arendse and fellow flyer Cheslin Kolbe, who is recovering from a broken jaw.

    Deon Fourie has also been selected, with hooker Bongi Mbonambi facing four weeks on the sidelines due to a knee injury sustained in training last week.

    The world champions are smarting from a 35-23 defeat to New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday and will get an opportunity to respond at Adelaide Oval on August 27, with Australia also licking their wounds following a 48-17 drubbing at the hands of Argentina.

    Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber said: "Bongi has been ruled out for four weeks, but Deon, who is an experienced hooker and flank, has been practising his lineout throws with us, so we are confident that he will be able to fill that void for us in these matches.

    "We are also excited to see how Canan slots in during the next few weeks and to see how he adapts to our structures and systems, and we believe he has the skills to slot in for Kurt-Lee and Cheslin.

    "This is a settled group of players and includes a wide spread of experience and young players who have made their presence felt, and we believe that they have what it takes to guide us back on track in the Rugby Championship in the matches against Australia."

     

    South Africa squad to tour Australia: 

    Forwards: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Salmaan Moerat, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Elrigh Louw, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Duane Vermeulen, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.

    Backs: Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel, Frans Steyn.

     

  • Foster expects to stay on as All Blacks head coach as NZ Rugby 'take stock' Foster expects to stay on as All Blacks head coach as NZ Rugby 'take stock'

    Ian Foster expects to stay on as All Blacks head coach as New Zealand Rugby bosses "take stock" following the win over South Africa on Saturday.

    There remains uncertainty over Foster's future despite a 35-23 Rugby Championship victory over the world champions at Ellis Park.

    New Zealand had lost five of their past six Tests - and three in a row - before stopping the rot in Johannesburg.

    NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson had only guaranteed Foster would remain in his role for the two clashes with the Springboks and revealed there would be a debrief following a defeat and a win in South Africa.

    He said on Sunday: "We've been having conversations right through this time, we believe we know where we stand and we've just got to work through that with him.

    "We'll take stock of the conversations, the information coming out of the camp and comment later in the week."

    Robinson added: "These have been challenging times right through the last few weeks. There is a huge amount of passion and speculation, a huge amount of expectation around the team and organisation, and we need to take the time we've got to set this team up for everything it needs to be successful."

    Foster remained defiant, stating that he was not aware of Robinson's comments.

    "I haven't heard or read those comments, but he's got a job to do," Foster told reporters. "I'm about to hop on a plane and go home.

    "I'll be given feedback, no doubt, but my expectations are that I'm the All Blacks head coach and later in the week I'll be going to Christchurch and assembling the team until I'm told different."

    Ardie Savea said he is "100 per cent" behind Foster following the win at the weekend and the head coach says he knows the players want him to keep his job.

    "I certainly feel that I have the support and backing of the All Blacks," he said.

    "There's still processes New Zealand Rugby want to go through. To coach this team, you have to have categoric support."

  • 'I started crying' - Cheika reveals 'confusing' emotions in Pumas' hammering of Australia 'I started crying' - Cheika reveals 'confusing' emotions in Pumas' hammering of Australia

    Michael Cheika revealed he was in tears as his Argentina side put Australia to the sword in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

    The Pumas secured their biggest win over the Wallabies and their most emphatic in the Rugby Championship, winning 48-17 at Estadio Bicentenario.

    Australian Cheika coached his country for five years before his reign came to an end in 2019 and the 55-year-old had mixed emotions during a record victory for Argentina in San Juan.

    The Argentina head coach told reporters: "I love these guys, they're my crew now. I was up on the last try, cheering. But then I started crying because I know I probably shouldn't be doing this. It was a bit confusing for me, personally.

    "But they're my boys now. That's my team. I will do everything I can to help them get success and enjoy rugby.

    "They are paying me a lot of respect here and people are believing in the things that we are doing. I have to do everything I can to help them."

    Cheika is relishing a short break in his homeland before Argentina take on New Zealand.

    "It's good to be going to Australia and have a few days off, seeing my mum and my brothers and sisters and take the boys for a Leb (Lebanese) feed at my mum's place," Cheika said.

    "But I am looking forward to going to New Zealand because it is a great place to go and play rugby."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.