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NatWest 6 Nations Championship

Townsend brings Hardie back into Scotland fold

John Hardie

John Hardie is back in the Scotland set-up after serving his suspension (pic: SNS Group)

Back-row John Hardie is the most notable addition to Gregor Townsend’s revised Scotland squad for the upcoming NatWest 6 Nations showdown with Ireland.

The 16-times capped Edinburgh Rugby star is back in the international fold for the first time since serving a three-month suspension for ‘gross misconduct’, the 29-year-old one of 10 players added to the squad ahead of the Dublin clash.

The 40-man pool also includes Toulouse lock Richie Gray (calf), Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown (head), prop Zander Fagerson (foot), centre Alex Dunbar (thigh) and Edinburgh Rugby prop Darryl Marfo (back) who have recovered from their respective injuries to be deemed eligible for selection for the first time in this year’s championship.

The new additions are completed by young scrum-half George Horne, whose 10 tries in 14 games for Glasgow Warriors this season has helped him secure his first senior international call-up.

The final three amendments see Sale Sharks and Glasgow Warriors wings Byron McGuigan (hamstring) and Lee Jones (head) return from their respective injuries to re-join the group, while Edinburgh Rugby back-row Magnus Bradbury is reselected.

Townsend, who is looking to build on the impressive victories over France and England, is without the injured Tim Visser (head) and Glasgow Warriors back-row Rob Harley (wrist).

Kick-off at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday is 2.15pm.

Scotland squad:

Hookers: Fraser Brown, Scott Lawson, Stuart McInally. Props: Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Zander Fagerson, Darryl Marfo, Willem Nel, Gordon Reid. Locks: Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Tim Swinson, Ben Toolis. Back row: John Barclay, Magnus Bradbury, David Denton, Cornell du Preez, Luke Hamilton, John Hardie, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson. Back three: Stuart Hogg, Ruaridh Jackson, Lee Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Sean Maitland, Byron McGuigan, Tommy Seymour. Centres: Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Nick Grigg, Chris Harris, Pete Horne, Huw Jones. Half-backs: George Horne, Greig Laidlaw, Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell.

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