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Head coach Andy Robinson has today named seven uncapped players in his 34-strong Scotland squad for training at St Andrews next week in preparation for the first EMC Test against New Zealand at Murrayfield next month.

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Two of the potential debutants were part of Scotland’s unbeaten three match tour of Australasia during the summer – Edinburgh Rugby 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 RaboDirect PRO12 league as backs Peter Horne, Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour and Henry Pyrgos are enlisted alongside the Edinburgh Rugby lock Grant Gilchrist.

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 reigniting the spark and spirit that was such a key part of our success on our summer 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 (29 October) for the three-day camp and then meet up in Edinburgh on Monday 5 November to begin detailed build-up to the New Zealand match.

Following the New Zealand game Andy Robinson, senior assistant coach Scott Johnson and defence coach Matt Taylor will consider afresh the squad for the two subsequent EMC Tests – against South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday 17 November (kick-off 2.30pm) and v Tonga at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen on Saturday 24 November (kick-off 3pm).

Scotland squad (sponsor RBS) for training camp at St Andrews 29-31 October in preparation for the EMC Test against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday 11 November (kick-off 2.30pm)

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).

Not considered due to injury:

Backs – Joe Ansbro (London Irish), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Cusiter, Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison (all Glasgow Warriors), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors) and Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors). Forwards – Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh Rugby), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur and Jon Welsh (all Glasgow Warriors)

Tickets for all three EMC Tests can be bought now online at www.scottishrugby.org; via the 24-hour credit card hotline 0844 335 3933 or in person from the Scottish Rugby ticket centre at Murrayfield Stadium which is open 9am-5pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.

5 Responses to End of year tours: Seven ‘new caps’ in Scotland squad

  • 1

    Some interesting ommissions/non selections from the squad would have thought with Joe Ansbro out he would have opted for the experience at centre of Alex Grove. Also think Edinburgh fullback Greig Tonks and Glasgow lock Tim Swinson are unlucky to not have made it, both players came up to Scotland this year after playing in the English Premiership for a while and as far as I know are qualified to play for Scotland, although maybe in Swinson’s case he is a bit short for a lock at 1.93m but that didn’t stop him putting in a man of the match performance for Glasgow a few weeks ago. Just interesting that despite these two’s talents they were overlooked and they both recently came to Scotland, is Robinson maybe sending out a message that there is not going to be any easy ride into the Scotland team and that he wants players who have been around the local scene for a while before they get chosen rather than have players just walz in and because they are able to be selected choose them, even the players who are in the squad that now play overseas did some time playing in Scotland.

  • 2

    Will be interesting to see who is chosen as flyhalf, I guess at this stage Greig Laidlaw has the inside track but he hasn’t been in best of form for Edinburgh after playing so well last season, wonder if he is carrying an injury. Jackson’s form has not been at all good, at Glasgow new Scotland cap Peter Horne who is a centre has been taking the kicks at goal so I wonder if he has been included to do this job and whether he may be shifted to flyhalf as well or whether he will be goal kicker as a centre.

  • 3

    I wonder if Richie Gray who didn’t play last weekend for Sale due to injury is now over his injury or whether they have chosen in the hope that he will get over it in the next few weeks and make it in time for the tests. Another option at lock is the newly selected Grant Gilchrist who has for me been one of the few Edinburgh forwards who have stood out this year.

  • 4

    Also unlucky to be dropped is Glasgow loose forward Rob Harley, he’s not been listed as not considered to injury so he has to have been dropped, he has not long been back for Glasgow though from injury so maybe Robinson is not sure about his match fitness, but Rob came in during the summer tour down under and made a big impact, he would be a good versatile player to have on the bench to cover loose forward and lock.

  • 5

    Right enough of all this talking to myself it looks like everyone has gone to bed Zzzzzz Bye


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