Boks to face depleted Scots
Tue, 20 May 2014 11:43
A mix of the battle-hardened and promising new talent
Scotland will be without key players when they play the one-off Test match against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth.
New Scotland coach Vern Cotter has announced a double squad in order to cope with an arduous travel schedule, leaving some of the bigger names to play the North American leg of their tour only.
Players such as Chris Cusiter, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Lamont, Tim Visser, Kelly Brown, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton and Alasdair Strokosch will only find themselves involved in the first squad to take on the United States and Canada.
Cotter's reason for this is that some of his players will still be duty bound to French and English clubs with the Springbok match falling outside the Test window.
"We’ve selected, effectively, two squads for our itinerary this summer taking into account Glasgow Warriors’ pursuit of PRO12 silverware and the fact that our match against South Africa falls out-with the IRB Regulation 9 window," Cotter said.
With this being the case, the squad to face South Africa is devoid of any players playing outside the United kingdom and consists of a large contingent of Glasgow Warriors.
The Scots Southern Hemisphere leg includes a game against Argentina and rounds off with the Springboks on June 28.
There is some overlap with nine players finding themselves in both groups in order to be involved in all four games
Forwards Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur, Kevin Bryce, Moray Low, Geoff Cross and Grant Gilchrist and backs Alex Dunbar, Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg are those who will be a part of both squads.
Within the two squads there are six uncapped players that join Cotter in his first season in charge.
Gordon Reid, Alex Allan, Kevin Bryce, Finn Russell, Blair Cowan and Grayson Hart all have a chance to get their first cap.
“I’m very much looking forward to starting work with the Scotland players as we begin our 16-match countdown to the Rugby World Cup," said Cotter
“We’ve included a mix of the battle-hardened and promising new talent and it will be good to see how players step up to tough and different challenges at the end of a long domestic campaign.”
Cotter will consider captaincy when the preparations begin for the North American leg of the tour next week.
Newcomer Finn Russell was understandably elated by his selection.
“It’s something I’ve been aspiring to all my life and it’s great to get this chance," he said.
“I’m looking forward to the tour and the experience that I can gather from it.
"Canada, as you've seen from the Sevens here in Glasgow, are improving all the time and America are getting better too, so every game on this tour is going to be really tough.”
Scotland squad v USA and Canada: Alex Allan, Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown, Kevin Bryce, Blair Cowan, Geoff Cross, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Scott Lawson, Kieran Low, Moray Low, Pat MacArthur,Gordon Reid, Alasdair Strokosch, Kyle Traynor,Chris Cusiter, Alex Dunbar, Max Evans, Tom Heathcote, Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell, Duncan Taylor, Tim Visser.
Scotland squad v Argentina and South Africa: Kevin Bryce, Geoff Cross, David Denton, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Chris Fusaro, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Moray Low, Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Tim Swinson, Jon Welsh, Alex Dunbar, Dougie Fife, Grayson Hart, Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Maitland, Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos, Tommy Seymour, and Duncan Weir.
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