Nicol returns to Scotland fold
November 19, 1999
Andy Nicol, Graham Sheil and Matthew Proudfoot have all been recalled to the Scotland squad for training sessions in December and January.
New head coach Ian McGeechan named them as part of in a 27-man party for in December and January. The three returning players replace the retired Gary Armstrong, Paul Burnell and the injured John Leslie in the squad.
With an 'A' squad also announced Andy Reed is the only World Cup player to miss out on the session.
Nicol, who won the last of his ten caps two years ago, has been recalled to senior duty after some impressive displays with Glasgow Caledonians on his return north of the border. The former Bath scrum-half looks likely to provide Bryan Redpath with experienced competition and also offers another alternative as captain.
Proudfoot appears to have finally shaken off the effects of a serious neck injury sustained in European Cup action a year ago to regain his Reivers place and revive the confidence gleaned from winning his first Test caps in Fiji and Australia in the summer of 1998.
Both the senior and 'A' squads will be under McGeechan's overall control for the first time. "It is important to get over to players what we want them to be thinking about and doing, and to give the coaches a feel for the players before we go into the Six Nations," he said yesterday.
"A lot of our players have drawn tremendous confidence from their World Cup experience, and we want them to remember that, which is why it is important we have this contact with them in December and January," he added.
Scotland squad: Backs: D Hodge (Edinburgh Reivers), K Logan (London Wasps), S Longstaff (Glasgow Caledonian Reds), J McLaren (Bourgoin-Jallieu), J Mayer (Bristol), G Metcalfe (Reds), C Murray (Reivers), A Nicol (Reds), C Paterson (Reivers), B Redpath (Narbonne), G Shiel (Reivers), G Townsend (Brive). Forwards: G Bulloch (Reds), G Graham, S Grimes (both Newcastle), D Hilton (Reds), M Leslie, C Mather (both Reivers), S Murray (Saracens), B Pountney (Northampton), M Proudfoot (Reivers), S Reid (Narbonne), R Russell (Saracens), G Simpson (Reds), T Smith (Brive), P Walton, D Weir (both Newcastle).