Former England back-row Gary Graham called up to Scotland squad

Gary Graham has made six Premiership appearances for Newcastle Falcons this season. David Rogers/Getty Images

Gary Graham, an unused member of England's 2018 Six Nations squad, has been called up by Scotland for their two remaining November international fixtures.

The Newcastle Falcons back-row was born in Stirling and represented Scotland at under-20 level, but was drafted into England's Six Nations squad on residency grounds earlier this year.

Graham didn't feature for Eddie Jones' side during the tournament after a neck injury in the build-up to England's opening game ruled him out of action.

He hasn't been selected by England since and has now switched back to Scotland to replace the injured Blade Thompson.

The son of former Scotland prop George Graham, the 26-year-old defended his decision to join up with head coach Gregor Townsend's squad.

"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 under-20s," Graham said.

"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."

The decision to select Graham is similar to Scotland's move to recruit former England youth international Sam Skinner last month. The Exeter Chiefs lock produced a man-of-the-match performance in his international debut against Fiji on Saturday.

"It was great to hear from Gary that he wanted to commit to Scotland," Townsend said. "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."

Scotland face South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday before finishing their November series against Argentina on Nov. 24.