Darcy Graham, the flying Hawick back, and Melrose prop James Bhatti (both pictured above) have been called up to Gregor Townsend’s 41-man squad which will take part in a training camp at St Andrews on Sunday. Graham, who has played for Scotland Under 20 and is now contracted to Edinburgh, and will make his debut on Friday in a pre-season warm-up match against Sale. He has been tipped for a long time as the next Borders Rugby superstar, and for good reason. Bhatti has enjoyed several years in the front row at the Greenyards club and recently joined Glasgow Warriors. Scotland’s Head Coach feels that the two are very much ready to step up to international rugby and their experience, along with five other uncapped players, will stand them both in good stead for the future.
There is plenty of Borders representation in the squad with current skipper Greig Laidlaw, Scotland’s most-capped player, Ross Ford, and Stuart Hogg, who is on his way back from injury, all included alongside former Selkirk players Lee Jones and Alex Dunbar. Allan Dell, who wore the Gala jersey for many matches is on the list, as is Anton Bresler, who turned out for Melrose on a few occasions last season. Scotland will play three tough matches at BT Murrayfield in November against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand, with the latter two fixtures already sold out.