Scotland will play summer tour match with home-based players only and here’s why

10 uncapped selections in 37-man squad

Scotland have picked 10 uncapped players for their summer tour and will go into the final match against Uruguay with a team made up of Scots-based players because the game falls outside the recognised window for international rugby.

Gregor Townsend has picked a 37-man squad for the four-Test trip to North and South America which will see the tourists take on Canada, USA, Chile and the Uruguayans. The head coach has selected an experienced core to go with the new faces but there are several notable absentees including Finn Russell, Blair Kinghorn, Ben White, Zander Fagerson, George Turner, Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist, Jack Dempsey and Darcy Graham.

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In their place come a clutch of players who have never played for their country before although some have experience of being in past Scotland squads. The 10 uncapped are forwards Gregor Brown, Patrick Harrison, Will Hurd, Ewan Johnson, Nathan McBeth, Robbie Smith and Max Williamson, and backs Matt Currie, Arron Reed and Gus Warr. The squad will be reduced in size for the South American leg and the game against Uruguay is set to feature only players from Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors.

“[In] the final game we won’t be able to select anybody outside of Scotland because it’s not in the international window,” said Townsend. “So our squad will reduce somewhat with the players based outside of Scotland not being available. But we also want to go to the last two weeks with a number closer to 30, so players have still got an opportunity to play.”

Townsend has not chosen a tour captain and plans to share the leadership burden. His squad includes Rory Darge, who was co-captain with Finn Russell during the Six Nations, Sione Tuipulotu, who was vice-captain, and Jamie Ritchie, who skippered Scotland at last year’s World Cup.

Turner, Scotland’s first-choice hooker, is not in the squad and Townsend admitted it would be hard to select him while he plays his club rugby in Japan. It was confirmed this week that Turner is leaving Glasgow Warriors to join Kobe Steelers.

“We wish him all the best with his new chapter in his career,” said the coach. “I think it will be challenging for him to play international rugby given that their season is on at the same time as our season, especially Six Nations time, and just with travel from Japan, but we’ll see with that further down the line.”

Edinburgh centre Matt Currie is one of ten uncapped players in Scotland's summer tour squad. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Edinburgh centre Matt Currie is one of ten uncapped players in Scotland's summer tour squad. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Edinburgh centre Matt Currie is one of ten uncapped players in Scotland's summer tour squad. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The final two weeks of the tour will also see three “development players” joining the squad. Tighthead prop Fin Richardson, who has signed for Glasgow Warriors next season from Exeter, Glasgow scrum-half Ben Afshar and Edinburgh lock Rob Carmichael will be added to the group. “Those three players are coming out for that opportunity to train at Test level, but they’re also coming out as cover if we do have injuries or call-offs closer to the game,” said Townsend.

The coach also wished former Scotland captain Stuart Hogg well amid reports that he is set to come out of retirement to join Montpellier. “He was obviously a fantastic rugby player who was in our World Cup training squad before he reached a decision to retire so if he does come back, we wish him all the best,” said Townsend.

Skyscanner Americas Tour: Sat 6 July: Canada v Scotland (TD Place, Ottawa); Fri 12 July: USA v Scotland (Audi Field, Washington DC); Sat 20 July: Chile v Scotland (Estadio Nacional, Santiago); Sat 27 July: Uruguay v Scotland (Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo).

Tour squad

Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Gregor Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Craig (Scarlets), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh), Will Hurd (Leicester Tigers), Ewan Johnson (Oyonnax), Nathan McBeth (Glasgow Warriors), Elliot Millar-Mills (Northampton Saints), Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), Robbie Smith (Northampton Saints), Rory Sutherland (Oyonnax), Dylan Richardson (The Sharks), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors), Max Williamson (Glasgow Warriors), Glen Young (Edinburgh).

Backs: Matt Currie (Edinburgh), Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (Gloucester), Ben Healy (Edinburgh), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors), Harry Paterson (Edinburgh), Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Warriors), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), Gus Warr (Sale Sharks).



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