SA duo in Scotland's RWC squad

2015-06-02 14:02
Josh Strauss (Getty Images)

Edinburgh - Flank John Barclay was picked by Scotland for the first time in two years on Tuesday, plus two uncapped South African-born players in a 46-man training squad for the Rugby World Cup.

The duo were Edinburgh prop WP Nel and Glasgow loose forward Josh Strauss, despite the latter not becoming eligible for Scotland until four days before their World Cup opener on September 23 against Japan.

Barclay hasn't played for the Scots since the November 2013 internationals, but coach Vern Cotter has been unable to ignore his form for Welsh club Scarlets, and he's in line for a third World Cup. Barclay used to be part of a loose forward trio named the Killer Bs, but the other two, Kelly Brown and John Beattie, missed selection.

Brown was the Scotland captain going into the 2014 Six Nations but has been gradually phased out, while Beattie has been a regular since the 2103 Six Nations. Along with winger Dougie Fife, they are three biggest names to miss out.

The squad includes eight uncapped players, and only nine players with World Cup experience. They include flyhalf Ruaridh Jackson, who has endured a season-long layoff with a knee injury. Uncapped Glasgow prop Mike Cusack has also come back from a long spell injured, and Glasgow loose forward Ryan Wilson from a four-month suspension following a court conviction for assault.

Scotland will gather on June 15 at Ravenscraig, and undertake high-altitude training in the French Pyrenees. They have four warm-up matches from mid-August against Ireland, Italy home and away, and France.

Along with Japan in their Rugby World Cup pool in England are the United States, South Africa, and Samoa.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: Mike Cusack, Allan Dell, Alasdair Dickinson, Ryan Grant, WP Nel, Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh, Fraser Brown, Ross Ford, Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Robert Harle, Tim Swinson, Adam Ashe, John Barclay, Hugh Blake, Blair Cowan, David Denton, Josh Strauss, Alasdair Strokosch, Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson.

Backs: Chris Cusiter, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Greig Laidlaw, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson, Finn Russell, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Matt Scott, Duncan Taylor, Richie Vernon, Stuart Hogg, Damien Hoyland, Rory Hughes, Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Greig Tonks, Tim Visser.

Read more on:    wp nel  |  josh strauss  |  rugby

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