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Six Nations 2022: Murphy Walker has a chance of a Scotland debut and is not in squad for Dublin as a ‘token gesture’

Murphy Walker has come through the age group ranks to the Scotland squad.
Murphy Walker has come through the age group ranks to the Scotland squad.

Lonforgan’s Murphy Walker could get the call to make his Scotland debut in Dublin this weekend as he starts his second week training with the national squad.

The 22-year-old is not involved in the sessions at Oriam as “a token gesture” according to forward coach John Dalziel.

While he was involved in last week sessions, the ex-Strathallan School captain and Dundee Rugby player was “officially” named as a squad call-up on Monday.

Dalziel said that injuries and Walker’s ability to play both sides of the scrum meant there was an outside chance he could get the call in the final Six Nations game.

‘You see opportunities happen’

“Nobody gets invited to an international camp or certainly made part of the squad if it is just a token gesture,” said Dalziel. “We have three days more training to get through and you see opportunities happen with players getting injured in training.

“We lost Rory Sutherland and Oli Kebble over a very short period. Murphy merits his selection and if needed and called upon, we will have no problems in including him in the squad.”

Walker had come through a couple of serious injuries to win his first pro contract and has played professionally on both sides of the scrum.

“Murphy’s become such a great player in such a short space of time as well,” added Dalziel. “He was a loose head, and asked to make that tough transition to play the tight head side, he’s got that ability to play both.

“We’ve been impressed with him for a long time. He was held up with a couple of hamstring injuries, a pretty major hamstring tear that he had.

Summer tour chance for the 22-year-old

Murphy Walker playing for Scotland Under-20s.

“We feel this is an environment with the national team coaches that we can work with him. With the summer tour coming up we can maybe push him to be part of that prop stable we have at the moment.

“He’s a very talented kid.”

Edmunds is even more of a surprise, being still effectively a club and sevens player and not a full-time professional. He’s a late developer in his mid-twenties but the coaches want to take a look at him.

Also coming in are Scott Cummings – left out of the England game and then injured playing for Glasgow – and veteran hooker Fraser Brown.

“It shows the depth we’ve got,” said Dalziel. “We lost Rory Sutherland, Jonny Gray, Scott Cummings all injured the same weekend.

“We lost a whole back row. It is testament to the squad that there has been little mention of that.

“In years gone by that would have left gaping holes, but it doesn’t now. We are lucky to have Jonny and Scott back fully fit, Fraser as well.”

Three quarters won’t do in Dublin

The debrief on Italy showed the Scots ‘won’ three of the four quarters of the game. But Dalziel believes losing one 20-minute quarter to Ireland will likely mean defeat.

“At 60 minutes we were 33-10 away from home. I thought we got tries from a lot of areas of our game. We had the ability to stack quick rucks on top of each other and be clean in the contact area.

“But the last quarter we were disappointed with. We have been almost the best defensive team in the world for two years now. It’s very hard to maintain that because teams improve.

“A lot of it isn’t technical and tactics. We talk sometimes about effort. You have to stay on task in Six Nations rugby for 80 minutes.

“There is no point in putting in three good quarters against Ireland, if we back off for one. One poor quarter will cost us the game at the weekend.”

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