SCOTLAND’S 31-man Rugby World Cup squad has been named, the players have been told, and it will be publicly announced this afternoon at Edinburgh University.
After almost three months of hard training and two wins out of three in the warm-up games, Vern Cotter has made his decision and the paperwork has been delivered to the tournament organisers. Supporters have been invited along to the Old College Quad to see today’s announcement, which will be made at 2:30pm, with a chance to mingle with the players afterwards.
Following Saturday’s 48-7 win over Italy at BT Murrayfield, Cotter and his coaching staff met for final discussions and assessments of the medical reports before confirming the squad and informing the players of the decision.
Wing Tommy Seymour, full-back Sean Maitland and prop Ryan Grant were all expected to be passed fit for selection but time may have run out for Glasgow centre Alex Dunbar, who has been to the USA for rehabilitation on a long-term knee injury.
Back-row is one of the most competitive areas with Glasgow’s South Africa born No 8 Josh Strauss, who becomes eligible on residency five days before Scotland’s opening match against Japan, expected to be included. Greig Laidlaw is favourite to be named captain after resuming in that role for Saturday’s impressive record win over the Italians.
Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor said: “The hardest part of being a coach is telling the guys who don’t make a team or a squad, because they’ve worked as hard as the guys who have made it. It’s a difficult time but the players understand that’s the nature of the job. There will be guys who miss out that could come back in through injuries so it’s important to keep them motivated and on track in terms of their training.”