Saracens lock Callum Hunter-Hill gets Scotland call-up

Saracens lock Callum Hunter-Hill has been called up by Scotland ahead of this weekend’s autumn Test against Argentina at BT Murrayfield.

The 25-year-old former Glasgow and Edinburgh player was added to the squad on Monday after Hamish Watson and Rory Sutherland withdrew due to injuries they sustained in Sunday’s agonising 31-23 defeat by New Zealand.

Watson sustained a concussion against the All Blacks, while Sutherland went off with a knee issue shortly after joining the fray as a substitute.

Hunter-Hill, who represented Scotland under-18s and under-20s, remains uncapped at full international level. He was named in a 37-man squad for Scotland’s summer tests against England A, Romania and Georgia last year, but those games were scrapped due to Covid outbreaks.

Scotland lock Richie Gray has been cited for “dangerous play” in the All Blacks match and must attend a hearing via video conference before an independent judicial committee at a date to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Fraser Brown is hoping to continue re-establishing himself in the Scotland set-up after forcing his way into contention for a surprise start against the All Blacks on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Glasgow hooker, who had not previously started for the national team for two years, was not included in the initial autumn series squad but was drafted in a fortnight ago after injury to Dave Cherry before being promoted to the starting XV for the All Blacks showdown after George Turner dropped out through injury last week.

“It’s been a strange couple of weeks,” he said. “Obviously opportunities always come up because it’s a physical game and any time I get to play for Scotland it’s a huge occasion. It’s a very proud moment. It was a very special day for me and my family because it was the first time I had my boys at Murrayfield.

“I’ve had a pretty difficult two years with injury and form. I feel like at the start of this year I was playing pretty well at Glasgow. I knew if I kept playing well I’d be there and thereabouts, so it was nice to come back in.

Fraser Brown in action for Scotland against New Zealand
Fraser Brown in action for Scotland against New Zealand (Jane Barlow/PA).

“We’re lucky at the minute that we have such a strong core of hookers so for me it’s about trying to play as well as I can when I get the opportunity and trying to stay fit.”

Brown, who won his 56th cap on Sunday, was devastated that Scotland were unable to see out a first victory over the All Blacks after squandering a 23-14 lead in the closing quarter of the match.

“It was gutting,” he said. “We didn’t get out the blocks and gave them a pretty decent lead, but from about the eighth minute to the 55th we controlled the game and then we just took our finger off the button for about 15 minutes.

“Yes, there was pride because for 50 minutes it was the best controlled game Scotland have had for the last couple of years, but it was an opportunity missed.”