Munster outhalf Ben Healy named in Scotland squad for Six Nations

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named Ken Owens as captain

Ben Healy is one of four uncapped players included in Gregor Townsend’s Scotland’s squad for the Six Nations.

The 23-year-old Munster outhalf, who will join Edinburgh in the summer, qualifies for Scotland through his mother and will provide back-up for Finn Russell at number 10.

Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie, Glasgow centre Stafford McDowall and Leicester secondrow Cameron Henderson are the other three included who are yet to feature for the national team.

Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson are included despite being sidelined by injury in recent months, but Darcy Graham, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge and Adam Hastings – who have also been battling fitness issues – have not made the 40-man squad.

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Meanwhile Ken Owens has been named as captain of Wales for the Six Nations as returning head coach Warren Gatland included four uncapped players in his expanded 37-man selection on Tuesday.

Gatland’s trust in Owens, 36, is a disappointment for former skippers lock Alun Wyn Jones and outhalf Dan Biggar, who have both been selected in the squad but not asked to lead the team.

“Ken’s incredibly experienced and a passionate Welshman – it means a lot to him to play for Wales. He’s also very popular with the players,” Gatland said in a Welsh Rugby media release.

Wyn Jones, Dewi Lake and Liam Williams return from injuries that saw them miss the autumn internationals, while lock Rhys Davies, centre Keiran Williams, wing Mason Grady and utility forward Teddy Williams are the uncapped players in the squad.

There are also recalls for Leon Brown, Rhys Carre, Rhys Patchell, Aaron Wainwright, Rhys Webb and Owen Williams.

“It’s probably a bigger squad than I’d normally name, but we want to have a good Six Nations and also look forward to the (2023) World Cup,” Gatland said.

“We’ve some youngsters that have come in and then we’ve some older very experienced players that we need to manage.

“It’s looking at the whole element for the squad and how we get the balance right, because that’s definitely going to be a challenge over the next 10 months.”

Wales open their Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland on February 4th.

Gatland is back as head coach following the axing of Wayne Pivac last month. Wales lost nine of their 12 tests in 2022.

He previously coached Wales for a 12-year period up to the 2019 World Cup, winning four Six Nations titles in that time.

Scotland squad

Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Sale), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown (all Glasgow), Dave Cherry (Edinburgh), Andy Christie (Saracens), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson (all Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Exeter), Richie Gray (Glasgow), Cameron Henderson (Leicester), WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Pierre Schoeman (all Edinburgh), Javan Sebastian (Scarlets), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh), Rory Sutherland (Ulster), George Turner (Glasgow), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)

Backs: Chris Harris (Gloucester), Ben Healy (Munster), Stuart Hogg (Exeter), George Horne, Huw Jones (both Glasgow), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath) Stafford McDowell, Ali Price (both Glasgow), Cameron Redpath (Bath), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu (all Glasgow), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), Ben White (London Irish)

Wales squad

Forwards: R Carre (Cardiff), W Jones (Scarlets), G Thomas (Ospreys), D Lake (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets, capt), B Roberts (Dragons), L Brown (Dragons), T Francis (Ospreys), D Lewis (Cardiff), A Beard (Ospreys), R Davies (Ospreys), D Jenkins (Exeter), A W Jones (Ospreys), Teddy Williams (Cardiff), T Faletau (Cardiff), J Morgan (Ospreys), T Reffell (Leicester), J Tipuric (Ospreys), C Tshiunza (Exeter), A Wainwright (Dragons).

Backs: K Hardy (Scarlets), R Webb (Ospreys), Tomos Williams (Cardiff), D Biggar (Toulon), R Patchell (Scarlets), O Williams (Ospreys), M Grady (Cardiff), J Hawkins (Ospreys), G North (Ospreys), N Tompkins (Saracens), K Williams (Ospreys), J Adams (Cardiff), A Cuthbert (Ospreys), R Dyer (Dragons), L Halfpenny (Scarlets), L Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), L Williams (Cardiff).