SCOTLAND coach Vern Cotter has made Huw Jones his surprise replacement for Finn Russell in the squad for next month’s two-Test tour to Japan.
The 22-year-old Edinburgh-born centre, who plays for South African Super Rugby side Stormers, replaces stand-off Russell, who sustained a head injury in last weekend’s Guinness Pro12 semi-final in Galway.
Jones attended the famous Millfield School in Somerset before a gap year in South Africa led to him staying on at the University of Cape Town and ultimately forging a professional career, first with Westen Province.
The introduction of the powerful centre to the squad, rather than replacing Russell with a specialist No 10 like Duncan Weir or Worcester’s Tom Heathcote, means that Glasgow’s Peter Horne will cover the stand-off berth along with Ruaridh Jackson.
Jones said: “I’m delighted to get this opportunity to play for Scotland. It’s a dream come true.
“I didn’t go out to South Africa with the intention of becoming a professional rugby player but, as my career progressed, it become more of a realistic goal to play for Scotland.
“The call came as a bit of a surprise but I’m thrilled and can’t wait to get to Edinburgh next month and play my part in an exciting squad.”
Cotter added: “We’re pleased to welcome Huw into the group and look forward to him deepening the competition in an already well-contested area of our squad.”
Jones and the rest of the Scotland squad will convene at BT Murrayfield on Monday 6 June for a training camp before flying to Tokyo the following Saturday (11 June).