Scotland announce squad for autumn Tests

Vern Cotter's squad has been announced. Picture: Jane Barlow
Vern Cotter's squad has been announced. Picture: Jane Barlow
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The absence of prop WP Nel was the major surprise when Scotland coach Vern Cotter named his 31-man squad for the upcoming autumn Tests this morning.

The tighthead has been ruled out with a neck injury and Rory Sutherland also misses out but their loosehead club-mate Alasdair Dickinson, who has been out injured, returns to the squad along with the uncapped Allan Dell.

Nel has become a crucial player for club and country but has missed games recently with a neck complaint, although he did play 65 minutes in the win over Harlequins at the weekend.

Hamish Watson is rewarded for his excellent Edinburgh form but there is no place for South Africa-born back-rower Cornell du Preez, who is now Scottish qualified but has had limited game time this season.

Gloucester centre Matt Scott misses out at centre, with Saracens’ Duncan Taylor included in the midfield group.

The results of a scan at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today are expected to inform the extent of Sutherland’s groin injury and rehabilitation programme in the coming days.

Cotter said: “This is an important season for this group of players who are determined to be successful in a Scotland jersey, and have a clear will to win.

“We have a big emphasis on how we play in front of our home crowd and have three exciting challenges facing us this November.

“As always we will focus on doing the simple things consistently well, while also adding some fine detail to improve our skill sets and continue the progress of this team.”

Scotland play Australia at BT Murrayfield on 12 November before facing Argentina at the same venue and Georgia at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park on the following Saturdays.

Edinburgh back-row Magnus Bradbury and the Glasgow trio of centre Nick Grigg, wing Rory Hughes and scrum-half Ali Price have been included in the wider training group.

SCOTLAND SQUAD FOR NOVEMBER TESTS

PROP

Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped

Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 58 caps

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap

Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 34 caps

Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

HOOKER

Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 99 caps

Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps

Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps

SECOND–ROW

Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps

Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps

Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 58 caps

Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps

BACK–ROW

John Barclay (Scarlets) – 52 caps

John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps

Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps

Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps

SCRUM-HALF

Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 53 caps

Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

STAND–OFF

Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps

Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps

CENTRE

Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps

Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Huw Jones (Stormers) – 1 cap

Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 18 caps

WING

Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps

Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 23 caps

Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps

Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 26 caps

FULL–BACK

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 45 caps

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