Josh Strauss (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Scotland coach Vern Cotter has explained his decision to pick uncapped Josh Strauss in his 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.
South African-born Strauss, who will qualify to represent Scotland on residential grounds on September 19 - a day after the Rugby World Cup begins - was the surprise name in Cotter's 31-man squad named on Tuesday.
The former Lions captain has played for the Glasgow Warriors since 2012 and has since notched impressive performances for the Scottish club.
Glasgow players make up just over half of the Scotland squad, with 16 out of the 31 announced plying their trade with the Warriors.
“We needed leaders in the group and Josh has been a consistent and well performing leader with Glasgow and helped them to their title,” Cotter told the Evening Times. “I felt he had something to bring to the group and we were looking at bringing powerful players who can dominate contact and he certainly gives that to us. He played against Canada (for Glasgow) last weekend and we believe his game will allow us to move forward on the pitch.”
Strauss is joined by another South African-born player in Edinburgh prop WP Nel, who has won two Test caps.
Scotland face France in Paris on Saturday in their final warm-up match before heading into the tournament where they will play South Africa, Samoa, Japan and the United States in Pool B.
Alasdair Dickinson, Ryan Grant, Gordon Reid, WP Nel, Jon Welsh, Fraser Brown, Ross Ford, Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Tim Swinson, David Denton, John Hardie, Josh Strauss, Alasdair Strokosch, Ryan Wilson
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Greig Laidlaw (captain), Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett, Peter Horne, Matt Scott, Richie Vernon, Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser, Stuart Hogg