Richardson and Schoeman a step closer to Scotland debuts
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has selected 12 uncapped players in his 42-man end-of-year squad following their initial involvement in the training group this week.
Sharks loose forward Dylan Richardson and Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman are both in that squad for Scotland’s four-match series, which begins against Tonga and sees Scotland play Australia, South Africa and Japan on consecutive weekends.
The other uncapped players in the squad are Ewan Ashman, Josh Bayliss, Rory Darge Luke Crosbie, Jamie Hodgson, Marshall Sykes, Rufus McLean, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson and Sione Tuipulotu.
Meanwhile, Scotland has called up its full complement of 2021 British & Irish Lions.
The extended group welcomes back captain Stuart Hogg, halfback pairing Ali Price and Finn Russell, centre Chris Harris, wing Duhan van de Merwe, flank Hamish Watson as well as props Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland following their involvement in the South African series.
Alongside the B&I Lions contingent centres Matt Scott, Huw Jones and flyhalf Adam Hastings retain their places alongside flanr Sam Skinner from Scotland’s July tour squad, which was hampered by Covid cancellations.
Also progressing to the end-of-year series squad are Edinburgh backs Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland and Mark Bennett. They are joined by fellow capital teammates Grant Gilchrist, Stuart McInally, Jamie Ritchie and Nick Haining.
Scotland’s west-based professional side Glasgow Warriors provide experience also in the form of hookers Fraser Brown and George Turner, lock Rob Harley and back-row Matt Fagerson.
Props Jamie Bhatti, Murray McCallum and Oli Kebble are also selected.
Glasgow Warriors centre Sam Johnson joins scrumhalf George Horne and wing Kyle Steyn who all also missed out on possible game time in the July series and will compete again for places.
“It’s exciting to bring together a blend of highly experienced and uncapped players for our first week of the campaign,” said Townsend.
“There have been some notable performances from both our home-based players and those at clubs outside of Scotland, which has enabled us as coaches to select a group which are playing well and will be motivated across the four games.
“We also feel that this the right time to bring in some younger players given their early season form. They have created opportunities for themselves to represent their country and we believe that they will thrive in the Test match environment.
“We face four tough matches in four weeks and Tonga, Australia, South Africa and Japan each present a different challenge and an opportunity to perform in front of our people at Murrayfield.
“It’s great to hear that we will now play Australia in front of a capacity crowd at Murrayfield, and it means a huge amount to the players to have this level of support.”
Forwards: Ewan Ashman (uncapped), Josh Bayliss (uncapped), Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Luke Crosbie (uncapped), Rory Darge (uncapped), Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Nick Haining, Rob Harley, Jamie Hodgson (uncapped), Oli Kebble, Murray McCallum, Stuart McInally, Dylan Richardson (uncapped), Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner, Pierre Schoeman (uncapped), Rory Sutherland, Marshall Sykes (uncapped), George Turner, Hamish Watson.
Backs: Mark Bennett, Darcy Graham, Jamie Dobie (uncapped), Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Damien Hoyland, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe, Rufus McLean (uncapped), Ali Price, Finn Russell, Matt Scott, Kyle Steyn, Ross Thompson (uncapped), Sione Tuipulotu (uncapped).
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) October 20, 2021