Scotland’s summer programme could open the door for the likes of Ross Thompson, Rufus McLean, Cole Forbes and Ben Vellacott

Scotland have finalised their summer schedule by confirming an A international against England which could open the door for a number of players to force their way into the full squad.

Cole Forbes impressed in Glasgow Warriors' win over Edinburgh. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The match will take place at Leicester’s Welford Road on June 27 in front of a planned crowd of 6,000.

The game will kick off Scotland’s summer programme, with full internationals to follow against Romania on July 10 and Georgia on July 17.

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With Gregor Townsend on British and Irish Lions duty along with eight of his Scotland players, the three games will be overseen by assistant coach Mike Blair.

Ross Thompson has enjoyed an extended run at stand-off for Glasgow Warriors in the second half of the season. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s director of high performance, will also be part of the management team and is hoping to use the match against England to gauge the suitability of a number of contenders for the Test team.

“For me, the ability to play A team fixtures is a key area of player development and given the depth we are now able to draw on around the Scotland men’s national team, it will provide an important opportunity for those pushing for international selection,” said Mallinder.

“After seeing such a positive number of Scotland players called up for the British and Irish Lions, the summer series of matches opens up our options even further for player selection.”

Glasgow Warriors in particular have blooded a number of young players this season who are likely to be vying for Scotland selection in the summer.

Ben Vellacott will join Edinburgh from Wasps in the summer. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ross Thompson, the stand-off, has impressed and there have also been notable contributions from winger Rufus McLean and full-back Ollie Smith.

Another back-three player, Cole Forbes, could also come into contention. Born in New Zealand, Forbes has played for the Junior All Blacks but is Scottish-qualified through his grandfather. He was man of the match in Glasgow’s victory over Edinburgh on Friday as the Warriors clinched the 1872 Cup.

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The summer tour could also afford an opportunity to Ben Vellacott, the new Edinburgh scrum-half who will join the club from Wasps in the summer. Vellacott is a former Scotland under-20 cap but has yet to be ‘captured’ at full international level.

Glasgow’s Kyle Steyn and Edinburgh’s Damien Hoyland could return to the international set-up over the summer after both missed the bulk of this season through injury.

Summer plans for the other home nations have been confirmed by World Rugby as part of a revised global schedule announced.

England will host the USA on July 4 and Canada six days later, with at least a 10,000-capacity expected for each match, while Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will stage Wales games against Canada and Argentina from July 3-17, and Ireland have Dublin appointments with Japan and the USA.

South Africa, who have not played since they beat England in the 2019 World Cup final 18 months ago, will warm up for the Lions Test series with two games against Georgia.

Other summer highlights include Australia hosting France in a three-Test series and New Zealand entertaining Fiji.

The Samoa versus Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier will also be played over two legs in New Zealand, creating a Pacific hub in the country across the July window.

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