Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend today named a 40-man squad for the upcoming Autumn Test series.
The national team face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday November 3, with the nations competing for the “Doddie Weir Cup”, in honour of the ex-Scotland and British & Irish Lions lock, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2017.
Scotland then host Fiji, South Africa and Argentina at BT Murrayfield on consecutive Saturdays. Fiji are the visitors on November 10, with the Springboks and Pumas providing the opposition on November 17 and 24 respectively.
Townsend has named 15 Edinburgh players in his squad, the majority included in the forward pack, while Glasgow Warriors will provide 16 members.
The rest of the squad is made up of one player each from Clermont-Auvergne, Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons, Racing 92, Sale Sharks, Saracens and Scarlets.
Exeter back-row and England Under-20 cap Sam Skinner, Scarlets’ versatile former All Blacks Under-20 cap Blade Thomson and Glasgow Warriors’ Australian-born centre Sam Johnson are the only uncapped players included in the squad, while Edinburgh pair Darcy Graham and Luke Crosbie have been invited to train with the squad.
Townsend said: “We now begin the last 12 months of our preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019 with four Test matches in four weeks, a similar challenge to the one we’ll face in Japan.
“We’ve named a 40-man group for this campaign, which highlights the quality of player that is now available to us and the competition for places.
“It also enables us to welcome more players into our training environment and hopefully give a few more players a taste of Test match rugby.
“It’s going to be an exciting year for the squad but our primary focus is fixed on performing well against Wales – familiar opponents who have already recorded a win against us this year.”
Townsend is without the services of Edinburgh duo John Barclay and Mark Bennett; Cornell du Preez of Worcester Warriors, Toulouse lock Richie Gray, Saracens’ Duncan Taylor and Glasgow trio Zander Fagerson, Stuart Hogg and Tim Swinson, who are all sidelined through injury.
Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (Edinburgh), David Denton (Leicester Tigers), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Murray McCallum (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Gordon Reid (London Irish), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors).
Doddie Weir Cup match tickets
Supporters buying tickets for the match with Wales will be given the opportunity to automatically donate to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, although there is no obligation to do so with £0, £1, £2, £5 options available. Donations to the charity can also be made directly online via www.myname5doddie.co.uk/donate