Scotland Call Up Player Who Previously Declared Himself For England

Interesting…

Newcastle Falcons back-row Gary Graham has been added to the Scotland squad for the 2018 Autumn Tests, as an injury replacement for Scarlets flanker Blade Thomson.

Stirling-born, former Scotland U20 internationalist, Graham, featured in the same Junior World Cup squad as current senior squad members Alex Allan, Ali Price and Finn Russell and is the son of former Scotland prop and forwards coach George Graham.

But Graham has previously declared himself for England and already been selected by Eddie Jones, albeit an unused call-up to England’s 2018 Six Nations squad.

At the time of his England call, Graham said:

“My dad was my rugby hero and I always hoped I would be something like him. He is the most passionate Scot I’ve ever met in my life, but he wanted to play at the highest level he could and so do I. I was brought up in England and I’d really like to play for England.” Graham said.

But he has now changed his tune, telling Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend he now wanted to play for England and that it would be “silly” to pass up the opportunity.

“I’m Scottish through-and-through but England asked me first as I’m eligible through residency. It would have been a silly opportunity to pass up, as I hadn’t been selected for a Scotland squad since U20s.” Graham said.

“I’m absolutely delighted to get this opportunity. I phoned Gregor to assure him I wanted to play for Scotland, and always wanted to play for my country. It’s where I’m from and where I played most of my rugby.”