Scotland reveal World Cup training squad: 41 players selected but six notable absentees, two uncapped men

Gregor Townsend has named two uncapped players in his 41-man Rugby World Cup training squad.
Finn Russell is among 41 players selected by Gregor Townsend for Scotland's World Cup training squad.Finn Russell is among 41 players selected by Gregor Townsend for Scotland's World Cup training squad.
Finn Russell is among 41 players selected by Gregor Townsend for Scotland's World Cup training squad.

Jamie Ritchie will captain the group which will be trimmed to 33 for the tournament itself, which kicks off in France on September 8. Stafford McDowall, the Glasgow Warriors centre, and Cameron Henderson, the Leicester Tigers lock forward, are the two uncapped players selected. Both were part of this year’s Scotland Six Nations squad but were unused.

Adam Hastings, Darcy Graham and Rory Darge all return after injury ruled them out of the Six Nations but notable absentees include Fraser Brown, the 61-times capped hooker, Josh Bayliss, the Bath back row, Edinburgh centre Mark Bennett and wingers Ruaridh McConnochie and Sean Maitland. Jonny Gray is also missing after suffering a serious knee injury while playing for Exeter Chiefs.

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John Cooney, the Irish international who is now Scottish-qualified, is not included, with the four scrum-half berths going to Ben White, Ali Price, George Horne and Jamie Dobie. Other keenly contested positions include hooker. Stuart McInally is included after announcing his intention to retire from rugby after the tournament to become a pilot. His Edinburgh team-mate Dave Cherry joins him in the squad along with Glasgow’s George Turner and Sale’s Edinburgh-bound hooker Ewan Ashman.

The group will gather for an initial training camp on 29 May to begin preparations for warm-up matches in the Famous Grouse Nations Series against France, Italy and Georgia at BT Murrayfield in July and August. Scotland also play France in an away warm-up in Saint-Etienne in August. Those players who are involved in the latter of club tournaments will be given dispensation to join the training camp later.

The Rugby World Cup itself will see Scotland compete in Pool B alongside South Africa, Tonga, Romania and Ireland, with their first fixture against the world champion Springboks on Sunday 10 September in Marseille.

Scotland training squad for Rugby World Cup 2023

Forwards (23): Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 7 caps, Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps, Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps, Andy Christie (Saracens) 4 caps, Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 4 caps, Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps, Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps, Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps, Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 33 caps, Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 58 caps, Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 62 caps, Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 73 caps, Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers) uncapped, Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) 47 caps, WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 54 caps, Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – CAPTAIN – 41 caps, Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps, Javan Sebastian (Scarlets) 3 caps, Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 25 caps, Rory Sutherland (Ulster Rugby) 23 caps, George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 35 caps, Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps, Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 57 caps.

Backs (18): Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap, Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 33 caps, Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 42 caps, Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby) 27 caps, Ben Healy (Munster Rugby) 1 caps, Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 100 caps, George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 20 caps, Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 36 caps, Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 43 caps, Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped, Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 61 caps, Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 5 caps, Finn Russell (Racing 92) 69 caps, Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps, Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 16 caps, Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 28 caps, Ben White (London Irish) 14 caps.