Flanker joins Scotland squad less than a year after England call-up
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.
Thomson sustained a concussion in his club’s defeat to Edinburgh on Friday 2 November at BT Murrayfield and has remained in the care of his club’s medical team.
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, while also representing Scotland Club XV and Gala RFC.
The son of former Scotland prop and forwards coach George Graham, moved to Carlisle at the age of three but returned to Scotland aged 17, when he represented the Netherdale club alongside his representative rugby, before joining Jersey in 2015 and the Falcons two years later.
Graham was an unused call-up to England’s 2018 Six Nations squad, on residency grounds.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, added: “I was great to hear from Gary that he wanted to commit to Scotland.
“It has become a competitive environment for dual-qualified players recently and we know that these are not easy decisions for players.
“We’ve been tracking Gary since he was at Jersey and his form over the past 12 months at Newcastle has moved him closer to playing international rugby. We look forward to welcoming him into our squad for this week’s camp.”