Cotter names Autumn Test squad

Cotter names Autumn Test squad

Head Coach Vern Cotter today named a 31-man Scotland squad for the forthcoming 2016 Autumn Test matches against Australia, Argentina and Georgia next month.

The squad features four additions and five replacements to the group that secured back-to-back wins over Japan in Toyota and Tokyo in June.

Prop Zander Fagerson and Olympic silver medal winning centre Mark Bennett join the group, having represented Scotland U20 and Team GB during the summer.

Edinburgh Rugby lock Grant Gilchrist has long since recovered from injury to add options to the second-row, while the form of back-row Hamish Watson has merited inclusion, intensifying the competition among the loose forwards.

Harlequins wing Tim Visser and Glasgow Warriors trio Finn Russell, Alex Dunbar and Rob Harley, are like-for-like replacements for Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Matt Scott and the injured David Denton (hamstring), with Dunbar and Visser reversing their late replacement by Scott and Lamont ahead of the Japan tour.

The group is completed by the inclusion of uncapped 24-year-old Edinburgh Rugby prop Allan Dell after it was confirmed that club mates Willem Nel and Rory Sutherland have both been ruled out of the forthcoming Autumn Tests.

Nel exacerbated an ongoing neck complaint in his club’s Challenge Cup win over Harlequins on Saturday and will require a period of rest, while Sutherland suffered an untimely groin injury in the build-up to the same match, with Dell starting – and scoring the club’s first of six tries – in his place.

The results of a scan at Spire Murrayfield Hospital yesterday (Monday) are expected to inform the extent of Sutherland’s injury and rehabilitation programme in the coming days.

Cotter said: “This is an important season for this group of players who are determined to be successful in a Scotland jersey, and have a clear will to win.

“We have a big emphasis on how we play in front of our home crowd and have three exciting challenges facing us this November.

“As always we will focus on doing the simple things consistently well, while also adding some fine detail to improve our skill sets and continue the progress of this team.”

The Scots will face the Wallabies for the first time since the 35-34 Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat at Twickenham this time last year in the first of the traditional three-Test series, that begins on Saturday 12 November.

Next up will be World Cup semi-finalists Argentina on Saturday 19 November, before the Scots complete the sequence with an historic Test against Georgia on Saturday 26 November, at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, the first Test between the two nations on Scottish soil.

A further four players have been invited to train with the squad: Back-row Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby), centre Nick Grigg, wing Rory Hughes and scrum-half Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors).

Not considered through injury: Adam Ashe (foot), Kevin Bryce (shoulder), David Denton (hamstring), Ryan Grant (back), Willem Nel (neck), Rory Sutherland (groin), Duncan Weir (jaw).

2016 Autumn Tests:

  • Saturday 12 November: Scotland v Australia, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.30pm)
  • Saturday 19 November: Scotland v Argentina, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 5pm)
  • Saturday 26 November: Scotland v Georgia, Rugby Park (kick- 2.30pm)

 

PROP

Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped

Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 58 caps

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap

Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 34 caps

Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

HOOKER

Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 99 caps

Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps

Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps

SECONDROW

Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps

Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps

Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 58 caps

Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps

BACKROW

John Barclay (Scarlets) – 52 caps

John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps

Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps

Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps

SCRUM-HALF

Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 53 caps

Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

STANDOFF

Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps

Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps

CENTRE

Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps

Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Huw Jones (Stormers) – 1 cap

Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 18 caps

WING

Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps

Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 23 caps

Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps

Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 26 caps

FULLBACK

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 45 caps

 

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