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Six Nations 2022: Adam Hastings the glaring omission as Gregor Townsend names 39 for the championship

Adam Hastings has been left out of Scotland's Six Nations squad.

Adam Hastings, one of the heroes of the win in Paris last year, is the glaring omission in Gregor Townsend’s 39-strong Scotland squad for the forthcoming Six Nations.

Hastings long appeared to be the clear heir apparent to Finn Russell. He played every test when the Lions 10 was in dispute with the management team and walked out in the 2020 Six Nations.

The 25-year-old son of former Scotland and Lions captain Gavin, now with Gloucester, threw the miss-pass for Duhan van der Merwe’s last-gasp try to win against France last March after Russell was sent off.

But he can’t find a place in a near-40 strong squad. There are just two regular 10s in Townsend’s selection, Russell and Blair Kinghorn, only this season converted from full-back.

‘We just feel Blair and Finn are playing better’

“Adam’s unlucky,” said Townsend. “Those that miss out on the squad are right to feel disappointed. They want to be in this squad, they feel that they deserve it.

“But he just missed out. He’s been involved, I think, in every campaign since he broke through. He came back in from injury last year and was involved in our last game in Paris.

“But we just feel at the moment Blair and Finn are playing better. Adam knows he’s got things to work on. If he works on them and shows his form, of course the door is still open for him and the others.”

George Horne, generally regarded as the established back-up to Ali Price at scrum-half, is also omitted. The other 9s named are the uncapped Ben Vellacott of Edinburgh and London Irish’s Ben White, who was previously in England squads.

Other uncapped players include London Irish wing Kyle Rowe, Saracens back rower Andy Christie, and Rory Darge, who was likely to be capped in November but for an untimely injury.

Gray, Redpath, Nel, Hutchison and Bennett recalled

Cam Redpath missed an entire year with injury after his debut against England.

There are recalls for fit-again Jonny Gray, Rory Sutherland and Cameron Redpath, for veteran tight-head WP Nel, and centres Rory Hutchison and Mark Bennett.

Magnus Bradbury, hotly tipped to return after a fine run of form for Edinburgh, makes the squad. Those omitted include Fraser Brown, Oli Kebble, Huw Jones and Matt Scott. Scott played against South Africa in the biggest test of last November.

“It’s a challenge for them, and we want to see them respond,” said Townsend of the omitted players.

“They’ve got two or three games over the next few weeks and in Adam and Huw’s case they’ll have games over the first part of the Six Nations.

“I’m sure they’ll respond positively. I spoke to a few players last night. They want to show us we got the decision wrong, what they can do and come back and play for Scotland. That’s what we want to hear and want to see that in their performances.

“It’s also a challenge to the guys who are selected. They know they’ve got a responsibility, not just playing for the country. Also that they’ve been given it ahead of others who have been in the squad before.”

‘We had to draw the line somewhere’

Selection even of 39 players was tough, added the coach.

“It was very difficult getting it down to just six centres,” he said. “With someone like Rory Hutchinson we see him being able to play in different positions, covering at 15 and 10.

“We had to draw the line somewhere. But it gives us the opportunity to have quality training sessions. We also get a look at guys who’ve not been involved before but playing well. We want to see how they get on in our environment.”

Squad

Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Sale), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby), Andy Christie (Saracens), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Exeter), Nick Haining (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), Javan Sebastian (Scarlets), Sam Skinner (Exeter), Rory Sutherland (Worcester), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby)

Backs: Mark Bennett (Edinburgh Rugby), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Stuart Hogg (Exeter, capt), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) Rufus McLean (Glasgow Warriors), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Cameron Redpath (Bath), Kyle Rowe (London Irish), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester), Ben Vellacott (Edinburgh Rugby), Ben White (London Irish).

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