/ Rugby

Gray brothers to line out for Scotland

Updated: Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 21:58 | Comments

Richie Gray (pictured) is joined by younger brother Jonny
Richie Gray (pictured) is joined by younger brother Jonny

Brothers Richie and Jonny Gray are poised to play their first game of rugby together at the highest possible level after both were named in Scotland's 23-man squad for Sunday's clash against South Africa.

British and Irish Lion Richie has been recalled to the starting line up for Scotland's second Autumn Test at Murrayfield and his 19-year-old brother and fellow lock could make his international debut off the bench.

The elder Gray left Glasgow for Sale in summer 2012 just as Jonny signed for Glasgow Warriors. And, with a five-year age gap between the pair, their only experience of playing rugby with each other is in their family garden.

Richie Gray, now at Castres, said: "I have never played with him. The age gap has kept us in different rugby environments so this is the first time I have trained with him and possibly played with him.

"The last time we maybe played a bit of muck-around rugby was in my dad's back garden. He was a bit younger so I still thought maybe I can throw him about, but I think he put a hit on me and ended up driving me back about 10 metres."

The younger Gray has shot to prominence this season with some dominant performances for Glasgow.

Richie, who came off the bench during Saturday's 42-17 win over Japan, said: "I was hugely confident in his ability. I knew he was a fantastic player. Over the years people said 'maybe it will be you and your brother playing for Scotland together' and you kind of laugh it off.

"But now potentially the time has come and I'm very proud and very honoured.

"I'm absolutely delighted. First of all delighted to be back in the team and delighted for Jonny.

"He has performed fantastically well for Glasgow this season and he fully deserves his chance.

"I'm really looking forward to him getting on the pitch and showing what he can do."

With Glasgow skipper Alastair Kellock suffering from concussion and man-of-the-match Tim Swinson left out following a bruising home debut against Japan, their fellow Warriors lock Jonny Gray was told he was being promoted to the bench by head coach Scott Johnson.

"It was overwhelming, just a massive honour," the teenager said. "I'm so grateful and privileged to get this opportunity.

"It's all you dream about as a kid, playing for Scotland."

And on the prospect of making his debut alongside his brother in the second row, he said: "It would mean everything. I know it would make my family very proud.

"But to even get on the pitch would be the biggest moment of my career.

"Most of my family are coming. They are overwhelmed and immensely proud."

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