Scotland call up Fife and Fusaro for Six Nations

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has named the uncapped pair Dougie Fife and Chris Fusaro in a 36-man squad for the Six Nations Championship.

Glasgow flanker Fusaro was previously called up for last year’s November internationals, but did not play, while Edinburgh wing Fife has been included in the squad for the first time.

“We’ve been watching Dougie closely,” Johnson said.

“He’s worked hard over the last 12 months, from being part of the A squad this time last year to becoming a first-choice selection at Edinburgh Rugby, and now to becoming a proven try scorer in the Rabo (Celtic League). He deserves this selection.

“We do have competition in the back row and there are other players knocking on the door who may feature for the Scotland A team against England Saxons at the end of this month.

“Chris Fusaro had a terrific game in the Heineken Cup at the weekend and I’ve been impressed by just how explosive some of our back-row contenders have been in their club sides.”

The squad features 16 players from Glasgow Warriors, 11 from Edinburgh and nine players based abroad.

Glasgow duo Alastair Kellock and Peter Horne miss out due to injury, while Tim Visser of Edinburgh and Worcester’s Euan Murray are also unavailable.

Johnson’s decision to select only two scrum-halves, in Edinburgh’s Greig Laidlaw and Glasgow’s Chris Cusiter, meant that there was no place in the squad for Cusiter’s Warriors club-mate Henry Pyrgos.

Scotland finished in third place in last year’s Six Nations, enjoying wins over Italy and Ireland. They begin this year’s competition with an away game in Ireland on February 2.

Scotland squad for the 2014 Six Nations:

Backs (15)

Chris Cusiter (Glasgow), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Max Evans (Castres/FRA), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh), Stuart Hogg, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Lamont (all Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Sean Maitland (Glasgow), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow), Duncan Taylor (Saracens/ENG), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh), Duncan Weir (Glasgow)

Forwards (21)

John Beattie (Montpellier/FRA), Kelly Brown (Saracens/ENG), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford (all Edinburgh), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Ryan Grant, Jonny Gray (both Glasgow), Richie Gray (Castres/FRA), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier/FRA), Robert Harley (Glasgow), Scott Lawson (Newcastle/ENG), Kieran Low (London Irish/ENG), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur (both Glasgow), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh) Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan/FRA), Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow)

Fixtures:

Feb 2: v Ireland (a)
Feb 8: v England (h)
Feb 22: v Italy (a)
Mar 8: v France (h)
Mar 15: v Wales (a)

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