Scotland name six uncapped players for summer tour

Scotland name six uncapped players in a 43-man double squad for summer tour of Americas and South Africa

Scotland have named six uncapped players in a 43-man double squad for their gruelling country-hopping summer tour of the Americas and South Africa.

There are few surprises in new head coach Vern Cotter’s maiden selection as he prepares for four Test matches in as many weeks in four different countries.

I’m looking forward to the tour and the experience that I can gather from it

Finn Russell/cite>

Rising outside-half Finn Russell, who steered Glasgow Warriors to the RaboDirect Pro12 final at the weekend, is rewarded for a fine run of form and will tour the USA and Canada.

But the omission of Warriors centre Mark Bennett suggests he will find himself in the Sevens squad when it is announced on Wednesday, with coach Stephen Gemmell is expected to dip into the 15s talent pool for July’s Commonwealth Games.

“It’s something I’ve been aspiring to all my life and it’s great to get this chance,” said Russell.

“I’m looking forward to the tour and the experience that I can gather from it. Canada—as you’ve seen from the Sevens here in Glasgow—are improving all the time and America are getting better too, so every game on this tour is going to be really tough.”

Uncapped Warriors front rowers Gordon Reid, Alex Allan and Kevin Bryce are joined by London Irish flanker Blair Cowan and Edinburgh scrum-half Grayson Hart, with Reid and Bryce pencilled in to navigate all four legs at the start of their international careers.

In all, nine players—also including Warriors backs Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Alex Dunbar—will travel to all four matches of the tour.

“I’m very much looking forward to starting work with the Scotland players as we begin our 16-match countdown to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England,” Cotter told scottishrugby.org.

“Working with Scott Johnson and the national coaches, we’ve selected, effectively, two squads for our itinerary this summer taking into account Glasgow Warriors’ pursuit of Pro12 silverware and the fact that our match against South Africa falls outwith the IRB Regulation 9 window.

“We’ve included a mix of the battle-hardened and promising new talent and it will be good to see how players step up to tough and different challenges at the end of a long domestic campaign.”

Scotland open their summer with a match against the USA in Houston on Saturday 7 June before heading up to Canada in Toronto for their second match on Saturday 14 June.

The second squad will head to Córdoba, Argentina for a match on Friday 20 June before an arduous trip to Port Elizabeth to take on South Africa on Saturday 28 June.

Scotland squad for the Test matches v USA and Canada

Forwards: Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors*), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Kevin Bryce (Glasgow*), Blair Cowan (London Irish*), Geoff Cross (London Irish), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Gray (Castres), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier), Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Kieran Low (London Irish), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Pat MacArthur (Glasgow), Gordon Reid (Glasgow*), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby)

Backs: Chris Cusiter (Sale Sharks),Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Max Evans (Castres), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester), Sean Lamont (Glasgow), Sean Maitland (Glasgow), Finn Russell (Glasgow*), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Tim Visser (Edinburgh).
Scotland squad for Test matches v Argentina and South Africa
Forwards: Kevin Bryce (Glasgow*), Geoff Cross (London Irish), David Denton (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Rob Harley (Glasgow), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Pat MacArthur (Glasgow), Gordon Reid (Glasgow*), Tim Swinson (Glasgow), Jon Welsh (Glasgow).
Backs: Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh), Grayson Hart (Edinburgh*), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow), Peter Horne (Glasgow); Ruaridh Jackson (London Wasps), Sean Maitland (Glasgow), Peter Murchie (Glasgow), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow), Duncan Weir (Glasgow).
* denotes uncapped player
Not considered due to injury: Jack Cuthbert and Matt Scott (both Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow) and Ross Rennie (Bristol).

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