Rugby

Townsend unveils Scotland squad

2017-10-24 12:37
Gregor Townsend (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Head coach Gregor Townsend has named 10 uncapped players in a 36-man Scotland squad for the upcoming November internationals. 

The national squad check in to camp next week and begin the 2017/18 season against Samoa at Murrayfield on Saturday November 11 - the only match for which tickets are still available - followed by Tests against New Zealand and Australia, which sold out in July. 

The uncapped group features four backs and six forwards, with centres Phil Burleigh (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons), wing Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) and scrumhalf Nathan Fowles (Edinburgh Rugby) joined by frontrow trio Jamie Bhatti, George Turner (both Glasgow Warriors) and Darryl Marfo (Edinburgh Rugby), Glasgow Warriors lock Scott Cummings and backrow forwards Luke Hamilton (Leicester Tigers) and Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby). 

Bhatti, Burleigh, Cummings and Ritchie were involved in the senior Scotland squad in the summer camp in St Andrews, while Turner was also an uncapped tourist in the summer, so the selection stands as something of a recall, however it’s a first involvement for the remaining five. 

Other notable inclusions sees fullback Stuart Hogg and wing Tommy Seymour return to the Scotland set-up, having missed the summer tour due to British & Irish Lions selection, while centre Huw Jones and Stuart McInally come back, having missed out on the summer tour through injury. 

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, said: “The players selected have worked exceptionally hard at their clubs to earn inclusion in the national squad and we're looking forward to working with them throughout the autumn series. 

"They will need to intensify their efforts further still to earn the opportunity and honour of play in front of capacity crowds in what are three exciting fixtures. 

“We’re facing two of the world’s top three sides after a significant challenge from Samoa in our opening game. It will be an excellent challenge for our players.” 

Former Glasgow Warriors back, McGuigan, 28, played for Scotland 7s in 2012, making six tournament appearances. 

He earned one Scotland A cap in 2014, scoring in the side’s 16-16 draw with England Saxons at Scotstoun. He joined current club Sale Sharks in 2016 and is joint top try-scorer in this season’s English Premiership. 

Prop Darryl Marfo, 26, has impressed at Edinburgh Rugby since arriving from Bath at the start of the season, featuring in every game so far this season. Born in London, he is eligible to play for Scotland through his mother, who is from Ayr. 

Former Wales Under-20 player Hamilton, 25, - whose father is from Stirling - joined Leicester in the summer of 2016 after two seasons in France with Agen, winning the Pro D2 in his first season. 

He joined the Tigers last year and impressed in his recent starts in both of the club's European Champions Cup matches on the openside flank. 

Fowles, 24, joined Edinburgh Rugby in 2015, initially on a three-month loan from Sale Sharks, before committing to the club full-time ahead of the 2015/16 season, making 40 appearances so far.

Carlisle-born Harris, 26, is a product of the Newcastle Falcons Academy and has played 57 times for the club since his 2014 debut, starting all but one of the club's matches in a season that sees them currently placed fourth in the English Premiership. 

He is eligible for the national team through his grandmother from Edinburgh. 

Scotland squad:

Forwards

Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, John Barclay, Scott Cummings, Cornell du Preez, Zander Fagerson, Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Luke Hamilton, Darryl Marfo, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Tim Swinson, Ben Toolis, George Turner, Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson 

Backs

Phil Burleigh, Alex Dunbar, Dougie Fife, Nathan Fowles, Chris Harris, Nick Grigg, Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson, Lee Jones, Huw Jones, Byron McGuigan, Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour

Read more on:    scotland  |  gregor townsend  |  rugby
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