Tue 28 May 2019 | 12:48

Gray omission leaves Scotland fans scratching their heads

Gray omission leaves Scotland fans scratching their heads
Tue 28 May 2019 | 12:48
Gray omission leaves Scotland fans scratching their heads

REACTION: Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has finalised his training squad ahead of the World Cup later this year, and there has been one noticeable exclusion that has left fans wondering on social media.

British and Irish Lion, and 62-cap veteran Richie Gray has missed out on a place, in favour of 22-year-old uncapped Glasgow lock Scott Cummings. His teammate, centre Kyle Steyn is the other name that has made it into the squad, after both had strong finishes to their season.

Many expected Toulouse’s Gray to be included in the squad at the denouement of the domestic season in France, as he still has at least two weeks left in the season, and three if they make the final. He is part of the Toulouse team that topped the Top 14 table, which could have been good enough reason for his selection.

However, Gray has struggled to remain fit over the past few years, limiting his time for both club and country. While his fitness is certainly an issue, his omission has still confused many fans, who would have thought that he at least warranted a place in the training squad to try and prove himself.

This is what has been said:

Many know what the lock is capable of when at full fitness, but as he has struggled to consistently play over the past few years, his form has subsequently dipped. Few would argue that the 29-year-old is playing at the standard he was when he burst onto the scene a decade ago.

On the other hand, Cummings’ form at the close of the season for Glasgow has been sensational, as he has been ever present on the field as the Warriors made the Pro14 final.

This appears to be a case of form over reputation with Cummings’ selection, particularly as some fans are saying that Gray may not remain injury-free before the World Cup.

With over four months remaining until the World Cup, the door may not necessarily be closed for Gray, particularly if injuries in the squad occur and he puts in a good showing with Toulouse in the Top 14 playoffs. But for now, the omission of one of Scotland’s most recognisable players has shocked some.

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Gray Omission Leaves Scotland Fans Scratching Their Heads | Rugby365