John Cooney: Scotland might choose former Eire scrum-half – Gregor Townsend
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says John Cooney reached out to him about switching allegiances from Eire and he might add the Dublin-born scrum-half to his Six Nations squad.
New World Rugby guidelines imply Cooney, who gained the final of his 11 Eire caps in February 2020, can play for Scotland in the direction of the tip of subsequent month.
Cooney, 32, advised the BBC in November he was contemplating switching nations.
“I spoke to John when the rule change took place,” mentioned Townsend.
“He truly reached out to me simply to let me know it will be one thing that he’d take into account. A variety of his household reside in Scotland.”
World Rugby’s new eligibility guidelines permit gamers to vary allegiances after a three-year cooling-off interval, so Ulster’s Cooney can change from 23 February – by which period Scotland can have performed two Six Nations video games.
“By way of timelines, he isn’t out there till in a while within the championship so clearly it wasn’t one thing we thought of for the start,” added Townsend.
“We’ll look when he is out there and whether or not we really feel it is proper to deliver him in, by way of his performances in comparison with the nines now we have and what it’ll require of him getting on top of things with how we play.
“Will probably be difficult for somebody coming right into a championship but it surely’s nice to know that he was eager to be concerned with us and provides to our depth at scrum-half.”
Scotland’s 40-man Six Nations squad additionally consists of London-born wing Ruaridh McConnochie, who performed for England on the 2019 World Cup, and former Australia again row Jack Dempsey, who switched to Scotland final 12 months after qualifying by means of his grandfather.
Scotland, who completed fourth within the 2022 match, open this 12 months’s Six Nations in opposition to England at Twickenham on 4 February.
Eire journey to Murrayfield to face Townsend’s facet on 12 March, the penultimate weekend of the championship.