Scotland bring in 17 new faces
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Interim Scotland boss Mike Blair has named 17 uncapped players in a 37-strong squad for their upcoming fixtures against England A, Romania and Georgia.
With eight Scottish players unavailable following their selection for the Lions tour to South Africa the summer squad combines youth and experience two years out from the World Cup.
The full group will convene on Tuesday, June 15, to prepare for the England A fixture on Sunday, June 27, with a smaller squad then travelling to Romania and Georgia for the two Test matches on consecutive Saturdays, July 10 and 17.
Of the uncapped contingent chosen by Blair, Luke Crosbie, Charlie Shiel (both Edinburgh), Rory Darge, Jamie Dobie, Rufus McLean, Ross Thompson (all Glasgow), Josh Bayliss (Bath) and Ewan Ashman (Sale) have previously spent time in the Scotland set-up.
For others, namely Sione Tuipulotu, Kiran McDonald, Cole Forbes (all Glasgow), Jack Blain (Edinburgh), Nick Auterac (Northampton), Javan Sebastian (Scarlets), Robin Hislop (Doncaster), Cameron Henderson (Leicester) and Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh), the call-ups will represent their first taste of a senior international camp.
The squad retains experienced players as six – Blair Kinghorn, Matt Scott, Adam Hastings, Scott Cummings, Simon Berghan and Jamie Ritchie – have earned at least 20 caps to date.
Blair said: “We have selected a mix of genuine Test match experience and a number of players who have impressed in the recent past to warrant a place in a squad that will want to continue the positive progress we have built up on and off the pitch in recent months. England A, Romania and Georgia will each pose different and tough challenges and we will have to be operating at our best to enjoy success, continuing on from some promising performances during the 2021 Six Nations.
“With the next Rugby World Cup two years away this period gives us an opportunity to increase our depth in key positions and work with players who can put up their hands for international selection this summer, and beyond.”
Forwards: Ewan Ashman, Nick Auterac, Josh Bayliss, Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Magnus Bradbury, David Cherry, Alex Craig, Luke Crosbie, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Matt Fagerson, Cameron Henderson, Robin Hislop, Jamie Hodgson, Oli Kebble, Kiran McDonald, Jamie Ritchie (captain), Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Grant Stewart, George Turner
Backs: Jack Blain, Jamie Dobie, Cole Forbes, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, James Lang, Rufus McLean, Matt Scott, Charlie Shiel, Scott Steele, Kyle Steyn, Ross Thompson, Sione Tuipulotu