The absence of prop WP Nel was the major surprise when Scotland coach Vern Cotter named his 31-man squad for the upcoming autumn Tests this morning.
The tighthead has been ruled out with a neck injury and Rory Sutherland also misses out but their loosehead club-mate Alasdair Dickinson, who has been out injured, returns to the squad along with the uncapped Allan Dell.
Nel has become a crucial player for club and country but has missed games recently with a neck complaint, although he did play 65 minutes in the win over Harlequins at the weekend.
Hamish Watson is rewarded for his excellent Edinburgh form but there is no place for South Africa-born back-rower Cornell du Preez, who is now Scottish qualified but has had limited game time this season.
Gloucester centre Matt Scott misses out at centre, with Saracens’ Duncan Taylor included in the midfield group.
The results of a scan at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today are expected to inform the extent of Sutherland’s groin injury and rehabilitation programme in the coming days.
Cotter said: “This is an important season for this group of players who are determined to be successful in a Scotland jersey, and have a clear will to win.
“We have a big emphasis on how we play in front of our home crowd and have three exciting challenges facing us this November.
“As always we will focus on doing the simple things consistently well, while also adding some fine detail to improve our skill sets and continue the progress of this team.”
Scotland play Australia at BT Murrayfield on 12 November before facing Argentina at the same venue and Georgia at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park on the following Saturdays.
Edinburgh back-row Magnus Bradbury and the Glasgow trio of centre Nick Grigg, wing Rory Hughes and scrum-half Ali Price have been included in the wider training group.
SCOTLAND SQUAD FOR NOVEMBER TESTS
Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped
Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 58 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 34 caps
Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 99 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps
Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 58 caps
Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
John Barclay (Scarlets) – 52 caps
John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps
Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 53 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Huw Jones (Stormers) – 1 cap
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 18 caps
Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 23 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 26 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 45 caps