Richie Gray: Glasgow Warriors lock ready to return to Scotland fold

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland
Gray on Glasgow return & Scotland hopes

Glasgow Warriors lock Richie Gray says he is available for Scotland again after turning down the opportunity to be part of Gregor Townsend's training squad for last year's World Cup.

Gray, 30, asked not to be considered for the tournament in Japan following the birth of his son.

But he is now ready to return to the fold should Townsend select him when international rugby returns.

"Yes I'm available," 62-times capped Gray told reporters on Friday.

"With the World Cup Gregor was very understanding and left the door open. There was a bit of chat around the Six Nations but obviously I took a head knock so wasn't available.

"I think the desire is always there and that's the same for every player to represent your country.

"Those conversations will happen over the next few months, but I think first and foremost it's about getting back playing and trying to get a slot in this Glasgow squad. I don't think I can get ahead of myself when it comes to Scotland."

Gray has returned to Warriors after eight years playing for clubs in England and France. He replaces his brother Jonny, 26, who departed Scotstoun for Exeter Chiefs.

He admits his younger brother will be a tough act to follow and believes the move to England can push Jonny into contention for selection for next year's British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

"Jonny has been a massive player for the club," added the elder Gray, who toured with the Lions in 2013.

"He will be a loss, he would be a loss for any team given the calibre of player he is. He's been a big personality around the club, he captained them at a very young age. But he is down at Exeter and is loving it.

"It's another challenge for him at the top side in England. He'll be competing for a Premiership final, he'll be competing for a European Champions Cup. If he's performing well there then I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be in the conversation around the Lions."

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