Northampton Saints duo Dan Biggar and Rory Hutchinson have earned international call-ups for the Six Nations, with Wayne Pivac and Gregor Townsend naming their Wales and Scotland squads respectively today.
Fly-half Biggar, 30, already has 79 appearances for his country to his name and played a key role in Wales’ run to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals last autumn.
“We are really excited to be naming our Six Nations squad and kicking the campaign off,” said Pivac.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into selecting the squad, all of the coaches have been out and about, seeing players in training, speaking with them and we are pretty excited with the group we have got.
“We do have a couple of injuries but we flip that into seeing it as an opportunity for some new players to impress, with not only the Six Nations in mind but also longer term and 2023.”
Hutchinson meanwhile will be looking to make his Championship debut for Scotland having earned his first international caps against France and Georgia during the World Cup warm-up Tests.
Townsend added: “We’ve put a bigger emphasis on form as a guide for our selection, with those picked backed to go out and grab their opportunity.
“A number of young players have broken through at their clubs, while the bulk of the squad [23/31] from Japan has been reselected based on some strong individual performances and huge effort throughout our World Cup camp.
“We’re on to our next campaign now and it’s going to be very tough given the competition we face.
“It’s a positive that we’ve depth in the number of positions and more players available to play than we did this time last season, so let’s hope that continues over the duration of the tournament.”