Dell in, Nel out for Scotland

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:09
Large willem nel scotland 800

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: South African-born prop Allan Dell will get another shot at making his Scotland debut after he was named in Vern Cotter's squad for three Tests in November.

Dell, the only uncapped player in the 31-man group, gets his spot in the squad after it was confirmed that Willem Nel and Rory Sutherland have both been ruled out of the forthcoming Tests against Australia, Argentina and Georgia because of injuries.

Nel exacerbated an ongoing neck complaint in Edinburgh's Challenge Cup win over Harlequins on Saturday and will require a period of rest, while Sutherland suffered an untimely groin injury in the build-up to the same match, with Dell starting – and scoring the club's first of six tries – in his place.

The results of a scan at Spire Murrayfield Hospital are expected to inform the extent of Sutherland's injury and rehabilitation programme in the coming days.

The 24-year-old Dell is one of four additions and five replacements to the group that secured back-to-back wins over Japan in Toyota and Tokyo in June.

Prop Zander Fagerson and Olympic silver medal winning centre Mark Bennett join the group, having represented Scotland Under-20 and Team Great Britain earlier this year.

Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist has long since recovered from injury to add options to the second row, while the form of loose forward Hamish Watson has merited inclusion, intensifying the competition among the loose forwards.

Harlequins wing Tim Visser and Glasgow Warriors trio Finn Russell, Alex Dunbar and Rob Harley, are like-for-like replacements for Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Matt Scott and the injured David Denton (hamstring), with Dunbar and Visser reversing their late replacement by Scott and Lamont ahead of the Japan tour.

Meanwhile, Stormers and Western Province centre Huw Jones will get another opportunity with Scotland after making his debut against Japan in June.

"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," said Cotter.

"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.”

The Scots will face the Wallabies for the first time since the 34-35 World Cup quarterfinal defeat at Twickenham this time last year in the first of the traditional three-Test series, that begins on Saturday, November.

Next up will be World Cup semifinalists Argentina on Saturday, November 19, before the Scots complete the sequence with an historic Test against Georgia on Saturday, November 26, at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, the first Test between the two nations on Scottish soil.

Scotland squad: Allan Dell, Alasdair Dickinson, Zander Fagerson, Moray Low, Gordon Reid, Ross Ford, Fraser Brown, Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Tim Swinson, John Barclay, John Hardie, Rob Harley, Josh Strauss, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson, Greig Laidlaw (captain), Henry Pyrgos, Pete Horne, Finn Russell, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Huw Jones, Duncan Taylor, Damien Hoyland, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser, Stuart Hogg.