Scotland name RWC squad
Edinburgh - Four uncapped players were named in Scotland's preliminary 40-man squad for the Rugby World Cup on Tuesday.
Glasgow lock Rob Harley and prop Ryan Grant, Edinburgh flanker David Denton and Bath fullback Jack Cuthbert could be involved in August tests against Ireland and Italy before the squad is narrawed down to 30 for the tournament in New Zealand.
Edinburgh fullback Chris Paterson moved a step closer to becoming the first Scot to play in four World Cups.
The only player missing from the recent Six Nations, in which Scotland finished fifth, was 24-cap lock Scott MacLeod, who will leave Edinburgh in the offseason to take up a new contract with Kobe Steel in Japan.
Also in was Chris Cusiter, the 52-cap British Lions scrumhalf who missed the Six Nations because of a knee injury. Since he's recovered, he's played three times for Glasgow, and at the weekend he left for Sydney for a monthlong stint with Southern Districts in the New South Wales championship to improve his fitness.
"There's a good blend of the experienced, the battle-hardened and up-and-coming talent," coach Andy Robinson said.
"The task that lies ahead for these players now is to be at the very peak of their powers in order to do themselves, their families, friends and country proud in New Zealand in September and October.
"Scotland have always qualified from the pool stages to reach the quarter-finals at the six previous Rugby World Cup tournaments and that has to be our first target this autumn."
Scotland's World Cup pool includes Romania (Sept. 10), Georgia (Sept. 14), Argentina (Sept. 25) and England (Oct. 1).
Scotland's provisional squad for the Rugby World Cup:
Backs: Joe Ansbro (Northampton), Mike Blair, Ben Cairns (both Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow), Jack Cuthbert (Bath), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Rory Lamont (Toulon), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow), Dan Parks (Cardiff), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh), Hugo Southwell (Stade Français), Nikki Walker (Ospreys).
Forwards: John Barclay, John Beattie (both Glasgow), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton (both Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Ryan Grant, Richie Gray, Dougie Hall (all Glasgow), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Robert Harley (Glasgow), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow), Euan Murray (Newcastle), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Fergus Thomson, Richie Vernon (both Glasgow).