Newcastle Falcons duo Ally Hogg and Grant Shiells have been named in the Scotland ‘A’ squad ahead of next Friday’s showdown with England Saxons at Scotsoun Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).
Hogg, 31, who has 48 senior caps to his name, has been in fine fettle for the Falcons this campaign and played a pivotal part in the club’s return back to the Aviva Premiership.
Recently winning his 100th Falcons outing at home to Harlequins before the turn of the New Year, the stirling-born No.8 will harbour ambitions of breaking back into the first XV following his absence from the international scene.
Meanwhile 24-year-old Shiells has the chance to pull on the Scotland jersey against the Saxons, a match he played in last year at Kingston Park, home of the Falcons.
Next week’s duel could see Shiells go head-to-head with Saxons and current Falcons prop Scott Wilson in the scrum pending selection.
Scotland ‘A’ will be spearheaded by Shade Munro with the talented coach keen to continue the success he has been enjoying with the second string.
“I'm delighted to have been named head coach once again and, after last year's victory down in England and our success at Netherdale two years ago, we're looking to try to continue our good record against the Saxons,” said Munro.
“We'll be coming together as a squad next week. I'm pleased with the mix of promising young talent and hard-nosed experience that we have in the squad and we'll look forward to performing at Scotstoun," he added.
Forwards: Olly Atkins (Edinburgh Rugby), Fraser Brown, Kevin Bryce (both Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan (London Irish), Jonny Gray, Robert Harley (both Glasgow Warriors), Allister Hogg (Newcastle Falcons), Tyrone Holmes, Ed Kalman (both Glasgow Warriors), Kieran Low (London Irish), Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Shiells (Newcastle Falcons) and Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors)
Backs: Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), Jack Cuthbert, Dougie Fife (both Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Grayson Hart (Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Byron McGuigan, Henry Pyrgos (both Glasgow Warriors), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby) and Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors)