Hadden names Scotland Training Squad
12 Gunners included
Coach Frank Hadden has today named a 32-strong squad for training at Murrayfield next week as Scotland intensify their preparations for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.
There are two uncapped players in the squad; Border Reivers' team-mates centre Ben MacDougall, 28 (formerly with the Gunners), and 23-year-old openside flanker Andy Miller.
The squad marks the return of Glasgow Warriors' captain Jon Petrie, who missed the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Tests through a shoulder injury. Hadden is pleased to see a rejuvenated Petrie - his captain in his first two Tests as national coach against the Barbarians and Romania last season - back in the frame.
"It's great to have him back. I'm satisfied with his form and I know he can contribute in other areas too," he explained.
Scott MacLeod, the Border Reivers lock, is another whose recent form and fitness is rewarded after a long absence through an ankle injury. Also returning to the squad is stand-off Gordon Ross whose recent form in the Guinness Premiership has earned him a recall.
Hadden said: "I watched Gordon playing for Leeds against Bath last week and I've been keeping an eye on him generally. The quality of his performance against Bath was out of the top drawer.
"Gordon was left out of the squad in the autumn but he's responded to that by pushing his way back into contention through form."
Gunners' outside half Phil Godman, who finished Scotland's last Test against New Zealand, misses out, but Hadden stresses that is a reflection on the displays of Ross and Dan Parks and not an adverse comment on Godman. He added: "Phil could yet feature in the Six Nations."
Hadden also reported that another former Gunner, the 31-times capped lock Nathan Hines who is now with Perpignan, was not figuring at this stage for personal reasons. "As I have said before Nathan remains very much in my thoughts. He has not retired from international rugby."
Elsewhere in the squad Hadden noted that Nikki Walker had demonstrated a hunger in recent outings and Euan Murray was benefiting from getting games under his belt.
Scotland squad for training at Murrayfield Monday 23 January - Thursday 26 January
Backs - Mike Blair (Edinburgh Gunners)*, Chris Cusiter (Border Reivers)*, Marcus Di Rollo (Edinburgh Gunners), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints), Rory Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Ben MacDougall (Border Reivers), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh Gunners), Gordon Ross (Leeds Tykes), Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh Gunners), Nikki Walker (Border Reivers), Simon Webster (Edinburgh Gunners)
Forwards - Kelly Brown (Border Reivers)*, Bruce Douglas (Border Reivers), Ross Ford (Border Reivers)*, Dougie Hall (Edinburgh Gunners), Craig Hamilton (Glasgow Warriors), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh Gunners)*, Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Gunners), Alastair Kellock (Edinburgh Gunners)*, Gavin Kerr (Leeds Tykes), Scott Lawson (Glasgow Warriors)*, Scott MacLeod (Border Reivers), Andy Miller (Border Reivers), Scott Murray (Edinburgh Gunners), Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors), Jon Petrie (Glasgow Warriors), Craig Smith (Edinburgh Gunners), Simon Taylor (Edinburgh Gunners), Jason White (Sale Sharks) captain
Not available for selection through injury: Simon Cross (Edinburgh Gunners), Rob Dewey (Edinburgh Gunners)*, Simon Danielli (Border Reivers), Iain Fullarton (Saracens), Scott Gray (Border Reivers), Donnie Macfadyen (Glasgow Warriors), Robbie Russell (London Irish), Gregor Townsend (Border Reivers), Andrew Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)*
*= Member of Scottish Institute of Sport