England coach Eddie Jones brushed off questions about new Scotland recruit Cameron Redpath saying he was “only interested in players qualified for England”.
The highly-rated 21-year-old Bath centre had been involved in several training sessions with the England senior squad – the last as recently as last year’s Six Nations – and played for them at Under-20 level for two seasons.
Jones picked Redpath to tour South Africa with England in 2018 when the youngnster was just 18, although an injury meant he never got on the plane.
Last week the son of former Scotland captain Bryan Redpath confirmed his decision to join Gregor Townsend’s Scotland squad for the championship, and is in line to make his international debut against Jones’ England at Twickenham next week.
‘Enough problems with my own selection’
Today Jones stuck to his policy of not making much reference to Redpath’s decision other than focusing on those who wanted to play for England.
“I don’t comment on other countries’ selection policy,” he said. “I have enough problems with my own selection before commenting on other countries.
“I’m only interested in players who are available to play for England. If he’s been selected for Scotland, he’s not available for England.”
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg said that the 21-year-old had already had a positive impact in just two days of work at camp at Oriam.
‘A breath of fresh air for everyone’
“We’re very much looking forward to having Cam as part of our squad,” said Hogg. “We watched a fair bit of him the last couple of years for Sale and for Bath and he’s been outstanding – a breath of fresh air for everyone.
“It’s exciting to have Cam in camp, and obviously we had a few conversations with him over time. He’s decided to come to Scotland which is outstanding for us.
“The last couple of days he’s brought a huge amount of energy. He’s been very vocal in the way he’s trained, and he’s brought a lot of class to our squad.
“We’re excited to see what he can do on the international stage. Here’s hoping he can do something special for us.”
‘He’s an unbelievable player’
Hogg said he had a word in Redpath’s ear on “a couple of occasions”. But he knew that the decision was the player’s alone.
“We just left it to Cam to make his decision,” he said. “I played against him towards the back end of last year and I had a little conversation with him then. I said to him I thought he’s an unbelievable player, but we didn’t put any pressure on him at all.
“We allowed him time and space to make a decision. For us he’s made the correct one, and we’re delighted he’s here. He has been playing some very good rugby of late and he can add that to our squad now.”
Ritchie on the mend
Meanwhile Scotland have one remaining injury issue with Jamie Ritchie still undergoing return-to-play protocols after a concussion.
The back rower did run with the squad this week as part of that process. Head coach Gregor Townsend is optimistic he’ll be available for the game at Twickenham next week.