Inexperience could harm Scotland’s chances in the Six Nations

Scotland go into the Six Nations hoping that the several fresh faces included in their squad will provide a new impetus.

Tighthead prop Ed Kalman is the latest uncapped player to be called up, replacing his club teammate Moray Low, who misses out through a knee injury.

Kalman has impressed for Glasgow Warriors in recent weeks, no more so than in his sparkling display in his sides’ 23-16 Heineken Cup defeat to defending champions Leinster over the weekend.

Scotland’s odds are 11/8 to beat England on February 4th at Murrayfield and Kalman may feature as one of a possible seven debutants who have been included in a new-look squad.

Seemingly third-choice when everyone is fit and available, the 29-year-old could prove to be a beneficiary of circumstances, as his glittering recent form has coincided with injuries to the aforementioned Low, and fellow tighthead prop Mike Cusack, who has an ankle knock.

However, injuries have not necessitated the inclusion of many other first-time picks, as coach Andy Robinson attempts to integrate a new breed of talent into his line-up.

The likes of Lee Jones, Stuart Hogg, Duncan Weir, Robert Harley, Fraser McKenzie and Steven Shingler have the chance to make a maiden appearance for the Scots, should they sufficiently impress when linking up with the squad at next week’s training camp at St. Andrew’s.

Lengthy odds of 20/1 attributed to Scotland winning the tournament are understandable considering the nature of the squad chosen by Robinson, and his new players will need to knit very quickly if they are to have any chance of justifying this big price.

They will too, in order to get off to a winning start against England, who could prove a good value shout to better their British rivals at 4/7.

England are 3/1 third-favourites to triumph as Six Nations winners.