Head coach Gregor Townsend has stuck with a large squad for this season’s 6 Nations, picking 39 players to tackle the Northern Hemisphere’s premier international tournament. Here’s the On Top Of The Moon summary of who’s in and who’s out since the Autumn Tests*.
Toony originally named a 40-man group for the matches in November against Fiji, South Africa and Argentina. 11 of those players haven’t returned – 5 of them through injury – and there are 10 additions.
- 7 uncapped players (David Cherry, Chris Dean, Gary Graham, Sam Johnson, Jake Kerr, D’arcy Rae and Grant Stewart) have been selected in the squad of 39. Gregor Townsend has so far handed out 18 Test debuts during his time as Scotland coach.
- Another 10 men have been picked who have less than 10 caps each.
- 13 of those selected have never played a match in the 6 Nation.
- Stuart Hogg (67) and Greig Laidlaw (66) are the only players with over a half century of caps – although Jonny Gray (47) and Tommy Seymour (46) could join them during the tournament.
Player numbers and game time
- 3 players are selected for the first time by Toony taking the total included in his squads since June 2017 to 82.
- The head coach has picked 31 Glasgow Warriors, 29 players from Edinburgh and 22 Exiles.
- Only 4 men (Peter Horne, Lee Jones, Ali Price and Ben Toolis) in the current squad have played some part in each of Gregor’s previous series in charge (Summer 2017, Autumn 2017, 6 Nations 2018, Summer 2018, Autumn 2018). Fraser Brown could join that list if he recovers from injury in time to be involved in the 6 Nations.
- 64 different players have seen game time in the head coach’s 14 Tests so far – 24 from Glasgow, 22 from Edinburgh and 18 Exiles.
- No-one has featured in all of Toony’s tests. Peter Horne (14 out of 18 matches) comes closest.
- The average age of the squad is 26.9.
- The backs are slightly younger than the forwards with averages of 26.6 and 27.2 respectively.
- There are 7 players over the age of 30. Greig Laidlaw is the elder statesman at 33. The other ‘veterans’ are Willem Nel (32), Josh Strauss (32), Tim Swinson (32 by the time the tournament finishes) Tommy Seymour (30), John Hardie (30), Sean Maitland (30) and Lee Jones (30).
- At 21 years old Darcy Graham is the baby of the squad.
- The squad have combined for 100 Test tries.
- 21 have been scored by forwards, 79 by the backs.
- Stuart McInally is the top scorer in the pack with 5 tries.
- Tommy Seymour (19), Stuart Hogg (18), Sean Maitland (11) and Huw Jones (10) and have provided almost 60% of the squad’s total try-scoring output.
- Jones and Maitland are the top try scorers of the Toony Test era.
Here’s the squad analysed by position and in a best guess (with an accent on the guess!) at Toony’s thinking, Depth Chart style…
* The comparison is with the squad selected ahead of the 3 games in the Autumn Test window rather than the slightly different group picked for the Wales game when some players were unavailable.