Seven released from extended Scotland squad

Seven released from extended Scotland squad

Head Coach Vern Cotter today confirmed that seven players have been released from the extended Scotland squad for the Rugby World Cup 2015.

The decision follows the national team’s opening two summer Test matches against Ireland and Italy, with this Saturday’s game against the Azzuri at BT Murrayfield the last chance for the players to stake a claim for the final 31-man squad, before it’s announced the following Tuesday (1 September).

Tickets for Saturday’s Test match against Italy are priced from £5 (U18s) and £15 (adults) – U12s go FREE with a paying adultThe match is the first on the great-value 2015/16 Scotland season pass for all home games – prices from £100 (adults) and £60 (U18s).

Glasgow Warriors’ pair Mike Cusack (prop) and Rory Hughes (wing) have returned to Scotstoun having made their first outings for the national team this summer, and both starting against Italy in Saturday’s 16-12 win in Turin.

Edinburgh Rugby quintet Allan Dell (prop), Dougie Fife (wing), Damien Hoyland (wing), Ben Toolis (lock) and Hamish Watson (back-row) will rejoin the capital club, with Hoyland and Watson also adding to their international honours at the weekend.

Warriors’ hooker Kevin Bryce – who joined the squad last week as precautionary cover – has also returned to his club.

Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “I’d like to thank the players for all their hard work throughout what has been a very tough pre-season campaign.

Their commitment to improving as individuals and to our collective endeavor has been exceptional, and has made this a very tough decision.”

– Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter

“They are understandably disappointed to miss out at this stage, however they have done themselves proud with their performances in training and the two Test matches.”

He added: “The nature of Test rugby is that we may need to call upon any of these players at any given time during our journey to and through what will be a very tough Rugby World Cup campaign, so we’ll continue to monitor their performances at club level very closely.”

Cotter also confirmed that back-row Josh Strauss has returned to Glasgow Warriors with the view to getting game time, before being considered for the final 31-man group.

The squad – minus Strauss – will now convene for a four-day camp at the University of St Andrews ahead of Saturday’s decisive Test match against Italy at BT Murrayfield Stadium (29 August, kick-off 3.15pm) – live on BT Sport.


– FORWARDS (22) –

Prop (5):
Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 45 caps; 4 RWC appearances (2007 and 2011)
Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) – 23 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) – 1 cap
Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps
Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons) – 5 caps

Hooker (3):
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 87 caps; 8 RWC appearances (2007 and 2011)
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 1 cap

Second-row (5):
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Richie Gray (Castres) – 45 caps
Jim Hamilton (Saracens) – 63 caps; 6 RWC appearances (2007 and 2011)
Robert Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps

Back-row (9):
Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
John Barclay (Scarlets) – 44 caps; 4 RWC appearances (2007 and 2011)
Hugh Blake (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
Blair Cowan (London Irish) – 12 caps
David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) – 26 caps
John Hardie (Unattached) – 1 cap
Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – Uncapped
Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) – 45 caps; 3 RWC appearances (2011)
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps

– BACKS (18) –

Scrum-half (4):
Chris Cusiter (Sale Sharks) – 70 caps; 6 RWC appearances (2007 and 2011)
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby) – 7 caps
Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester) – 39 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 15 caps

Stand-off (3):
Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps) – 26 caps; 3 RWC appearances (2011)
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps

Centre (5):
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 14 caps
Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) – 27 caps
Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps; 3 RWC appearances (2011)

Back-three (6):
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 32 caps
Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) – 95 caps; 8 RWC appearances (2007 and 2011)
Sean Maitland (London Irish) – 15 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby) – 6 caps
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 19 caps


Summer Test schedule:
Saturday 15 August: Ireland 28-22 Scotland, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Saturday 22 August: Italy 12-16 Scotland, Stadio Olympico, Turin
Saturday 29 August: Scotland v Italy, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh (kick-off 3.15pm) – live on BT Sport
Saturday 5 September: France v Scotland, Stade de France, Paris (kick-off 7pm BST) – live on BT Sport

RWC 2015 Pool stages:
Wednesday 23 September: Scotland v Japan, Kingsholm (kick-off 2.30pm)
Sunday 27 September: Scotland v USA, Elland Road (kick-off 2.30pm)
Saturday 3 October: South Africa v Scotland, St James Park (kick-off 4.45pm)
Saturday 10 October: Samoa v Scotland, St James Park (kick-off 2.30pm)
Scheduling of knock out rounds determined by performance in the Pool stages
Rugby World Cup tickets are still available from

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