Sam’s parents flying in – and Johnson himself hopes to be flying on Saturday

Kettle Collective

Sam Johnson’s parent are flying in from Australia to see their son make his debut for Scotland in the Guinness Six Nations opener at BT Murrayfield against Italy on Saturday (2.15pm, live on BBC).

The 25-year-old, who qualified for Scotland midway through last year, would have made his first appearance in the Autumn before an injury got in the way.

So, with Pete Horne injured and other options at 12 not fit or out of form, now is the perfect chance for Johnson to show a wider audience what he is all about.

Glasgow Warriors’ supporters already know and Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend is a big fan of his creative and defensive abilities in that channel.

And with Johnson’s family on the way to a cold, crisp Scottish capital it promises to be quite a weekend for them all.


Sam worked his way into the Glasgow team and then became one of the best players in the Glasgow team,” said Townsend.

“He has settled in Scotland and feels very much part of our country.”

Jake and Gary waiting in the wings

Off the bench two other players could make debuts.

They are Leicester Tigers’ 22-year-old hooker Jake Kerr and Newcastle Falcons back-row Gary Graham, 26.

The head coach said of the pairing:  “Jake is very fit, very mobile and a really good defender.

“He is also solid at throwing in and that got him the edge over the other two, who haven’t played as much rugby.

“Gary is tough, has got an incredible engine, and can cover six and seven. He takes the game to the opposition, whether in attack or defence.”

Scotland squad

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors, V-C) – 65 caps

14 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 46 caps
13 Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
12 Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
11 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 7 caps

10 Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 40 caps
9 Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne, C) – 66 caps

1 Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 17 caps
2 Stuart McInally (Edinburgh, V-C) – 22 caps
3 Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 26 caps
4 Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 14 caps
5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 28 caps
6 Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 3 caps
7 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 6 caps
8 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps

16 Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers) – uncapped
17 Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
18 Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 14 caps
19 Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – uncapped
20 Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 17 caps
21 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
22 Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps
23 Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 6 caps

Thanks to David Gibson/FOTOSPORT for the image of Sam Johnson

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