Bath Rugby forward David Denton has been named in head Coach Vern Cotter's 35-man Scotland squad for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.
Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “We’ve selected a mixture of experience with some exciting young players coming through, some of whom have experienced the Rugby World Cup and are eager to move forward, take the RBS 6 Nations head on and show that we can develop our game and be competitive.
“I think there should be confidence. The guys have worked hard and improved. There are positive signs that we can compete, and this Championship will give us another opportunity to measure ourselves against very good opposition in a tough competition.
“The guys believe that we can compete, dominate and secure victories in these games.”
Some 23 players capped during Rugby World Cup 2015 have earned reselection – six missing out, at this juncture, through injury (Fraser Brown, Grant Gilchrist, Henry Pyrgos, Jon Welsh, Richie Vernon) and retirement (Alasdair Strokosch) – while Cotter has rewarded the form of back row forwards John Barclay (Scarlets), Adam Ashe and Chris Fusaro (both Glasgow Warriors), and versatile Wasps back Ruaridh Jackson, with selection.
Other notable inclusions see centres Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) and Duncan Taylor (Saracens) recover from the injuries that ruled them out of last year’s international opportunities, despite winning Guinness PRO12 and English Premiership titles respectively.
Scotland will once again be captained by Gloucester scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, who requires the same number of appearances (four) to mark a half-century caps and to equal David Sole's record as most-times as Scotland captain (25).
Lock Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) and scrum-half Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) have been invited to train with the squad when it convenes for a pre-Championship camp in St Andrews this Sunday, before returning to their clubs to continue their recovery from groin and wrist injuries respectively.
Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations campaign gets underway with the sold-out fixture against England at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 6 February (kick-off 4.50pm) – live on BBC.
SCOTLAND SQUAD FOR THE 2016 RBS 6 NATIONS
- FORWARDS -
Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 94 caps
Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 52 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) - uncapped
Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 29 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) – 8 caps
Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 15 caps
Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Richie Gray (Castres) – 51 caps
Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby) – 1 cap
Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
John Barclay (Scarlets) – 45 caps
Blair Cowan (London Irish) – 15 caps
David Denton (Bath Rugby) – 32 caps
Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 5 caps
Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
- BACKS -
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby) – 8 caps
Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 46 caps
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 15 caps
Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 14 caps
Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 15 caps
Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) – 33 caps
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 12 caps
Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) – 101 caps
Sean Maitland (London Irish) – 20 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 23 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 38 caps
Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps) – 27 caps