THERE will be a strong Tynedale connection when rugby’s Six Nations Championship gets under way early next month.

For the Scotland squad for the 20th series of the prestigious international tournament includes three players who have all played in the district.

Dave Cherry, Tim Swinson, and Chris Harris have all lined-up for Tynedale RFC’s first XV at various times over the past 13 years.

Newcastle Falcons’ centre Harris, who made 47 appearances for the Corbridge-based club between 2011 and 2014, will be hoping to add to his six previous Scotland caps.

He will be joined in the Scotland squad by Tim Swinson, the Glasgow Warriors’ lock, who played for Tynedale 24 times between 2006 and 2008. He has 38 caps to his name.

The currently uncapped Dave Cherry, who played 27 times for Tynedale’s first XV between 2011 and 2013, and now plays for Edinburgh, has also been selected.

Chairman of men’s rugby at Tynedale RFC, Mike Fieldhouse, said: “Everyone at the club is very proud, and also delighted for the three lads.

“They are all players who came to Tynedale as non-academy players, and have gone on to greater things.

“When Tim Swinton joined us, he was at Newcastle University and wanted to play rugby. He turned up with no fanfare but we quickly realised just how good a player he was.

“Chris Harris is another classic example. He came to us from his native Carlisle, and something must have happened while he was at Tynedale which led to him representing Scotland.

“I think Dave Cherry was another university lad who wanted to play rugby at first team level instead of playing university rugby, so he came to us.”

The trio’s selection is a coup for Tynedale, which has also been boosted by the news that nine of its promising youngsters have been selected to represent their county.

Henry Aitkenhead, Nicholas Beatty, Harry Coldwell, Toby Ferguson, Will Linton, Sorely Mosedale, Spike Patton, Josh Porter, and Daniel Sharpe, will link up with the Northumberland county U15 squad.

Mike added: “We’re really pleased. Yes, we have former players in the senior Scotland squad, but we also have a lot of talented players coming through the ranks here at Tynedale.”