Six Nations: Scotland's Johnnie Beattie thrilled to face England

Johnnie Beattie

RBS SIX NATIONS: England v Scotland

Saturday 2 February
Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, Red Button and online; listen on BBC Radio 5 live; live streaming and text commentary on BBC Sport website; watch again on BBC iPlayer

Scotland's Johnnie Beattie said it was a "huge surprise" to be named in the team to face England in Saturday's Six Nations opener at Twickenham.

It will be the number eight's first cap since 2011, following on from his recent fine club form with Montpellier.

"I'd had pretty much two years of not playing at all," said Beattie.

"When you're out of things and out of sight, you never know what people are thinking. To get the call was a massive surprise and massively pleasing."

The 27-year-old had dropped down the pecking order at Glasgow under former head coach Sean Lineen and left for France's Top 14 league after eight years with his hometown club.

Montpellier sit fourth in their domestic table and have progressed to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

"Obviously at Glasgow I didn't really play much rugby at all for six or seven months toward the end of last year," Beattie said.

"When that's happening, not even featuring for your club side, you think this could actually be the finish of your career, never mind Scotland stuff.

"So, to be back on track career-wise and to be back playing regularly in France on one hand is absolutely fantastic, but to be asked to come back here is something completely different again."

And Beattie, who will get his 17th cap, is eager to re-write the record books by defeating England at Twickenham for the first time in 30 years.

Incidentally, his father, Scottish rugby legend John Beattie, was number eight in that 22-12 victory in 1983.

"It's something that's obviously been part of our family history," said Johnnie Beattie.

"But if I chat to my Dad about it, he's frankly embarrassed that it has stood for 30 years.

"So, the people that are given the chance this weekend to go and play have got a chance to re-write their own family history and history for Scottish rugby.

"I'd be really happy if I could be part of that."

Top Stories