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:
— Niall Sommerville (@niall_som) May 28, 2019
I like Cummings but no Richie Gray…? A rum do.
— Chaos with Incorrigible🥂Kenneth 🇪🇺 (@SevKen5088) May 28, 2019
Spot on. Back to fitness. Playing regularly for the team winning Top14. But @Scotlandteam can afford not to have him in squad. Ridiculous. But not surprising. A lot of feel good remains around Toony. Not supported by facts or results
— Steve Kaney (@stevekaney) May 28, 2019
Scott Cummings and Kyle Steyn added to Scotland’s RWC training squad. Both have been superb over the past few weeks. Got to feel sorry for Richie Gray though.
— Alasdair Reid (@AlasdairReid3) May 28, 2019
That’s just wrong to exclude Richie!! Been going really well for Toulouse
— Neil Sinclair (@scotacc) May 28, 2019
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.
Possibly fallen too far down pecking order now. Can’t argue with Cummings being selected though. He’s been phenomenal lately.
— Neil Macdougall 🏴🏴 (@DougallChops) May 28, 2019
Come world cup..he will be injured…
— Downpatrick67 (@denb243) May 28, 2019
Cummings deserves that last World Cup spot. Not sure Richie Gray in 2019 can match him for his dynamism and carrying ability.
— Paul Kerr (@KERRZZO) May 26, 2019
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.