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Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 18:11 UK

Kelly & Forrester win Scots call

Edinburgh hooker Andrew Kelly
Kelly gets his chance after Ford's call up for the Lions

Hooker Andrew Kelly and back row forward Calum Forrester have been drafted into the Scotland A pool for the IRB Nations Cup in Romania.

Ford, who had been appointed vice captain for the trip, has been called into the British and Irish Lions squad.

Kelly replaces Edinburgh team-mate Ford and Glasgow's Forrester steps in for the injured Scott Newlands.

Centres Joe Ansbro and Alex Grove are in the the party, while scrum-half Chris Cusiter will lead the side.

Simon Danielli, Nick De Luca, Simon Webster, Kelly Brown and Al Kellock are the other established internationals in coach Andy Robinson's plans.

For Northampton Saints' Ansbro, 23, it will be the first time he has represented his country at any level, while Worcester Warriors' Grove, 21, has represented Scotland before at under-18, under-19 and under-20 level.

And Ansbro said: "It is a new challenge for me. It is something that I've wanted to do for a while, but unfortunately I've had a few injuries.

"Now I've had more Premiership experience with Northampton, I feel ready to play international rugby.

Chris Cusiter is a very talented scrum-half and will lead by example on the pitch

Scotland A coach Andy Robinson

"I've always been a Scotland rugby fan and I've always followed them.

"I've spoken to both Tom Smith and Euan Murray about playing for Scotland and I'm really excited about going to Romania with Scotland A."

Robinson is comfortable with the abundance of players vying for important roles in the middle of the park.

"We've selected five centres, but I consider them all to be versatile members of the back division and have the ability to fulfil a different role if required," he said.

"I'm looking forward to working with Joe Ansbro and Alex Grove and seeing what they've got to offer the team."

Robinson has chosen a youthful squad, with an average age of 24, and has backed scrum-half Cusiter, with hooker Ross Ford as his deputy, to prove to be a powerful leader in Romania.

"Chris is a very talented scrum-half and will lead by example on the pitch," he said of the player who will join Glasgow Warriors from Perpignan in the summer and will turn 27 during the tour.

Joe Ansbro and Alex Grove
Ansbro (l) and Grove have the chance to impress with the Scotland A squad

"Having worked with him on the 2005 Lions Tour, I know how good his management and decision-making skills are.

"A strong squad has been selected for the competition, with experienced Test players mixed together with up-and-coming young players.

"I've been to Romania twice before with rugby and I have no doubts everyone involved with the tour will benefit from the experience."

Those facing Russia, Uruguay and France A during the June tournament could be playing for places in the senior squad, with Robinson being tipped to be chosen as the new senior coach.

"We have some tough games on our schedule and we are expecting the heat to test our players' fitness, but we are confident that a raft of positives will emerge from the tour," Robinson added.

Scotland A

Joe Ansbro (Northampton Saints), David Blair (Edinburgh), Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh), Stuart Corsar (Doncaster Knights), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (captain, Perpignan), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Rob Dewey (Ulster), James Eddie (Glasgow Warriors), Calum Forrester (Glasgow Warriors), Roddy Grant (Edinburgh), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Craig Hamilton (Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Al Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Andrew Kelly (Edinburgh), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh), Jim Thompson (Edinburgh), Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh), Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors) and Simon Webster (Edinburgh).

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see also
Hook receives surprise Lions call
23 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Ansbro agrees new Saints contract
23 Jan 09 |  Northampton
Quartet sign new Warriors deals
25 Mar 09 |  Worcester
Watch out for Ansbro - Mallinder
20 Aug 08 |  Northampton
Ruddock pleased with Grove debut
28 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union


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