Scotland Six Nations call-up for George Horne and Jamie Ritchie

George Horne and Jamie Ritchie are all smiles during Scotland's World Cup campaign. And the two will team up again in the Six Nations. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
George Horne and Jamie Ritchie are all smiles during Scotland's World Cup campaign. And the two will team up again in the Six Nations. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

There will be a north East Fife influence in the Scotland side when they line up to open their Guinness Six Nations campaign in February.

The Scots will open their campaign against Ireland on February 1 and hoping to line-up in the first match will be Jamie Ritchie (Strathkinness) and George Horne (Cupar).

Both were named by head coach Gregor Townsend in his 38-man squad tournament squad on Wednesday.

Jamie and George, who starred for the Scots at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, have both represented the Howe of Fife and continue to have strong ties to the area.

Townsend said: “We’ve put a bigger emphasis on form as a guide for our selection, with those picked backed to go out and grab their opportunity.

“A number of young players have broken through at their clubs, while the bulk of the squad [23/31] from Japan has been reselected based on some strong individual performances and huge effort throughout our World Cup camp.

“We’re on to our next campaign now and it’s going to be very tough given the competition we face. Ireland have only lost one championship game at home in the last five years, and England were in great form in Japan.”

There was no place for George’s brother Peter in the 2020 Six Nations squad.

Townsend has named full-back Stuart Hogg as Scotland captain for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.

The two-time championship player of the tournament (2016 and 2017) and British & Irish Lion is the most experienced player in the 38-man squad, starting 71 of his 72 caps to date.

The squad includes six uncapped players – four forwards and two backs.

Glasgow Warriors trio Tom Gordon (back-row), Kyle Steyn (wing / centre) and Ratu Tagive (wing) are joined by Edinburgh back-row pair Luke Crosbie and Nick Haining, with Gloucester’s former Scotland U20 lock, Alex Craig, completing the group.

The squad also features the return of Edinburgh pair Matt Scott (centre) and Rory Sutherland (prop) – who last featured for Scotland in victories on the road over Australia (2017) and Japan (2016) respectively – as well as Worcester Warriors back-row, Cornell du Preez, who earned his most recent of six caps against Wales in 2018.

Scotland host England after the Ireland opener.