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What does George Turner’s Japan move mean for Scotland?

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Having confirmed his move to Kobe Steelers, there is now a question mark next to George Turner’s name in terms of his international career.

While there isn’t anything stopping the 31-year-old from continuing playing for Scotland, the Japan Rugby League One schedule directly clashes with the Six Nations, which puts the hooker in doubt.

Having been a regular for many years, will head coach Gregor Townsend look to replace Turner?

With Stuart McInally retiring last summer, Fraser Brown following suit this year and Dave Cherry being out of the national set-up since the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Scotland have a shortage of hookers.

Edinburgh’s Ewan Ashman has been hot on Turner’s heels to fill the jersey and it could make sense for Glasgow Warriors’ Johnny Matthews, the URC’s top try scorer, to step up as well.

Outside of those two, however, Scotland don’t have any other established hookers to call upon.

Gregor Hiddleston has had a breakthrough season at Glasgow but is yet to receive the call from Townsend. Fellow Warriors hooker Angus Fraser seems to have fallen out of favour.

Edinburgh’s Patrick Harrison has had some strong performances this season, scoring in round 12 of the URC against Stormers. Could he receive a Scotland invite?

The summer tour is known for blooding young, up-and-coming players, so it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see him included.

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