Cotter picks Scotland squad

2014-05-20 17:02
Vern Cotter (AFP)

London - Vern Cotter has announced his first squad as Scotland coach on Tuesday -- and the New Zealander produced two tour parties for next month's internationals.

Cotter, still in charge of French champions Castres, named separate squads for a North American tour that features Tests against the United States and Canada and a Southern Hemisphere trip where the Scots will play internationals against Argentina and South Africa.

In total, 43 players have been selected but nine men -- backs Alex Dunbar, Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg and forwards Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur, Kevin Bryce, Moray Low, Geoff Cross and Grant Gilchrist have been selected for both legs.

Cotter also picked six uncapped players in Glasgow forwards Gordon Reid, Alex Allan and Kevin Bryce and the Celtic League finalists' promising midfielder Finn Russell has also been called up together with London Irish openside Blair Cowan and Edinburgh scrum-half Grayson Hart.

But some potential tourists have been omitted because of their likely involvement in the Commonwealth Games Sevens in Glasgow.

"I'm very much looking forward to starting work with the Scotland players as we begin our 16-match countdown to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England," Cotter said in a Scottish Rugby Union statement.

"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.

"Working with Scott Johnson (former head coach and now Scotland's director of rugby) and the national coaches, we've selected, effectively, two squads for our itinerary this summer taking into account Glasgow Warriors' pursuit of Pro 12 (Celtic League) silverware and the fact that our match against South Africa falls outwith the IRB Regulation 9 window," Cotter explained.

Cotter will consider the issue of captaincy when preparations for the North American leg of the tour begin next week.

However, one possible candidate has been ruled out after Glasgow captain Al Kellock was left out by Cotter.

The lock recently returned from arm surgery but wings Sean Lamont and Tim Visser have both been included after making late-season comebacks.

Cotter also omitted prop Euan Murray, who has been released by relegated English Premiership side Worcester.

Glasgow's success has been a timely boost for the Scottish game after the national side won just one of their matches in this season's Six Nations Championship.

Scotland needed a last-gasp drop-goal to see off wooden-spoon side Italy in a Championship where they suffered heavy defeats by England (20-0) and Wales (51-3).

Scotland squads:

For Test matches against the USA and Canada:

Chris Cusiter (Sale/ENG), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Max Evans (Castres/FRA), Tom Heathcote (Bath/ENG), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester/ENG), Sean Lamont (Glasgow), Sean Maitland (Glasgow), Finn Russell (Glasgow), Duncan Taylor (Saracens/ENG), Tim Visser (Edinburgh)

Alex Allan (Glasgow), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier/FRA), Kelly Brown (Saracens/ENG), Kevin Bryce (Glasgow), Blair Cowan (London Irish/ENG), Geoff Cross (London Irish/ENG), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Castres/FRA), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier/FRA), Scott Lawson (Newcastle/ENG), Kieran Low (London Irish/ENG), Moray Low (Exeter/ENG), Pat MacArthur (Glasgow), Gordon Reid (Glasgow), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan/FRA), Kyle Traynor (Bristol/ENG)

For Test matches against Argentina and South Africa:

Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh) Grayson Hart (Edinburgh), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow), Peter Horne (Glasgow), Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps/ENG), Sean Maitland (Glasgow), Peter Murchie (Glasgow), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow), Duncan Weir (Glasgow)

Kevin Bryce (Glasgow), Geoff Cross (London Irish/ENG), David Denton (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Rob Harley (Glasgow); Moray Low (Exeter/ENG), Pat MacArthur (Glasgow, Gordon Reid (Glasgow), Tim Swinson (Glasgow), Jon Welsh (Glasgow)

June 7: USA v Scotland, Houston

June 14: Canada v Scotland, Toronto

June 20: Argentina v Scotland, Cordoba

June 28: South Africa v Scotland, Port Elizabeth

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