Four uncapped players are named in Scotland’s Six Nations squad, including former England wing Ruaridh McConnochie.
Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga is also included despite having last worn an England jersey almost two years ago, and McConnochie, 31, rounds off the selection, with his two England caps having come three years ago meaning he is eligible to play for another nation.
“Ben has shown recent form, which is great,” said head coach Gregor Townsend. “We believe he’s got Test match ability. His kicking game is strong. He’s confident, and he leads the attack well when he gets the opportunity.”
McConnochie, who played sevens rugby for England and won an Olympic silver medal with Great Britain in 2016, convinced Townsend that he wanted to switch allegiances to the country of his father’s origin in October.
Townsend added: “His ambition now is to play for Scotland and get into a XV for this year’s Six Nations. He wants to play for Scotland at some point this season or next season.”
“He has an opportunity now, an opportunity that he’s earned but also that’s opened up with Darcy Graham’s injury.”
The squad is missing Graham, Rory Darge, and Scott Cummings due to injuries, but Zander Fagerson, Fraser Brown, and Hamish Watson are included despite fitness concerns, while Huw Jones and Sean Maitland have been recalled.
Townsend’s side start against England at Twickenham on 4 February before hosting Wales seven days later. Graham will miss the trip to France on 26 February, as well as the match against England at Twickenham on 4 February.
When Ireland and Italy visit Edinburgh on 12 and 19 March, the winger might be available.
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)