SCOTLAND coach Vern Cotter will today inform Rugby World Cup organisers of his official 31-man squad for the 2015 tournament, which is now less than three weeks away.
There was some confusion over whether the players themselves would be told it yesterday or today but what we do know is that all will be publicly revealed tomorrow afternoon in a glitzy ceremony at the historic Old College Quad of the University of Edinburgh.
Following a morale-boosting 48-7 rout of Italy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, one of the main talking points ahead of tomorrow’s big reveal are whether Cotter and his coaching team are prepared to gamble on the fitness of Alex Dunbar, who ruptured his knee in training during the Six Nations and has been facing a race against time.
It is a reflection on the regard Cotter clearly has for the dynamic Glasgow centre that he has taken that particular decision down to the wire.
Cotter was probed for hints after Saturday’s game – “will you definitely take three hookers?” “four locks?” “six back rows?” “will it be an 18-13 or a 17-14 forwards/backs split?” – but all were batted away with trademark inscrutability.
“We’ve used over 40 players, so it’s a testament to the application of these players to put their best foot forward and stake a claim in the final 31,” said Cotter.
On the Dunbar issue, the Kiwi said: “We’ve got a report. We all knew that Sunday was going to be a big day. We had to play Saturday, get the game out of the way, then get down to the meeting – we’ll look at it very, very closely. [Sunday] night, hopefully we can come to a decision. But, if not, it will be Monday.
“Alex is one of two things. He can be selected and play a Pro12 game, not be selected and do the same thing – but still be involved later. There are a couple of theories on that. We’re still waiting for the dust to settle.”