Seven rookies in Scotland squad
Wed, 24 Oct 2012 10:43
New Zealand are formidable opponents
Scotland coach Andy Robinson has named seven uncapped players in his 34-man squad for training next week, in preparation for the first year-end Test against New Zealand at Murrayfield next month.
Two of the potential debutants were part of Scotland's unbeaten three match tour of Australasia in June - Edinburgh back row forward and former Scotland age-grade captain Stuart McInally and Glasgow Warriors' back Alex Dunbar, who is a product of the Annan and Selkirk clubs.
The others confirm Glasgow Warriors' stronger start to the Pro12 league as backs Peter Horne, Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour and Henry Pyrgos are enlisted alongside the Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist.
Following the New Zealand game the head coach, Robinson, senior assistant coach Scott Johnson and defence coach Matt Taylor will consider afresh the squad for the two subsequent Tests - against South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday, November 17 and Tonga at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen on Saturday November 24.
Robinson declared: "It's always an exciting time when the Scotland squad comes together ahead of the first Test match of the season.
"It's some four months since Scotland last played an international so when the squad reconvenes there'll be an element of renewing acquaintances and re-igniting the spark and spirit that was such a key part of our success on our mid-year tour.
"New Zealand are formidable opponents. They do the basics exceptionally well and play with a pace and ruthlessness. It's no co-incidence that they are the best team in the world.
"We must look to build on the physical commitment of our players against Australia, Fiji and Samoa. As ever the Scotland supporters are right behind us and with more than 55,000 tickets sold already for our game against New Zealand, the players are determined to give their all."
The squad will convene at St Andrews on Monday (October 29) for the three-day camp and then meet up in Edinburgh the following week (Monday, November 5) to begin detailed build-up to the New Zealand match.
Not considered due to injury: Joe Ansbro (London Irish), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Cusiter, Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison (all Glasgow Warriors), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors), Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh Rugby), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur and Jon Welsh (all Glasgow Warriors).
Backs: Mike Blair (Brive), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne and Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones, Greig Laidlaw (both Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (both Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) and Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)
Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford and Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (London Irish), Stuart McInally and Ross Rennie (both Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) and Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby).
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