SA Rugby takes administrative control of the West Province RFU
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend today named a 36-man squad for a two-day training camp ahead of the 2021 Fall Nations Series opener.
The squad are mostly home players, 19 of whom were in Scotland’s 2021 summer squad who were unable to play their scheduled three games due to Covid-19.
Glasgow Warriors fullback Rory Darge has continued with the squad since the summer following man of the match performances in the opening rounds of the United Rugby Championship campaign. He is joined by fellow Warriors in fullback Ross Thompson, Cole Forbes, Rufus McLean, Kyle Steyn, George Horne, Jamie Dobie, Sione Tuipulotu and forwards Jamie Bhatti, Oli Kebble, Matt Fagerson and George Turner.
Edinburgh Rugby also has retained players from the summer in the form of back row pair Jamie Ritchie and Luke Crosbie, alongside lock Jamie Hodgson and backs Blair Kinghorn, Jack Blain, Damien Hoyland and James Lang.
The remaining 17-man squad are called up after returning from the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, injury or rest, not having featured in Scotland’s troubled summer campaign.
Lions Ali Price, Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson all bring their experience to the group.
In the peloton, Grant Gilchrist, Stuart McInally, Fraser Brown, Nick Haining and Rob Harley are called up with a combined total of 169 caps.
Full-backs Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett and Sam Johnson are also back, who have all got off to a good start to the new season.
Townsend also brought in four new faces with an uncapped quartet of three forwards and a fullback.
Edinburgh Rugby forwards Pierre Schoeman and Marshall Sykes are joined by midfielder Charlie Savala in the training squad.
There is also a call for loose Cell C Sharks forward Dylan Richardson who qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born father. The 22-year-old flanker has started two RCU matches this season after facing Munster in the first round and Glasgow Warriors in the second round and was part of Matchday 23 for the South African team’s third round victory over the Ospreys.
The training team will meet on Sunday 17th October and train on Monday 18th October at the Oriam High Performance Center outside Edinburgh.
Speaking on the selection, head coach Gregor Townsend said: âIt is great to see Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors making positive starts in their URC campaigns with outstanding performances from young and established players.
âWith four tough test matches ahead of us in this year’s Fall Nations Series, it’s important that we bring the players together early, connect with them as coaches and allow them to grow as players. group before the start of the campaign against Tonga at BT Murrayfield. We will then move on to the challenge of facing fit Australia, world champion South Africa, and a very dangerous Japanese team.
“We are delighted with the depth that we can draw on to build this practice squad and it offers a real opportunity for the players to get their hands on the selection of the full team for the Autumn Nations Series.”
Fall Nations Training Group
Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 13 caps
Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 8 caps
Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 41 caps
Rory Darge – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
Dylan Richardson – Cell C Sharks – Uncapped
Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby – 27 caps
Luke Crosbie – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby – 45 caps
Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
Rob Harley – Glasgow Warriors – 22 caps
Marshall Sykes – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 38 caps
Oli Kebble – Glasgow Warriors – 8 caps
Murray McCallum – Glasgow Warriors – 3 caps
George Turner – Glasgow Warriors – 17 caps
Fraser Brown – Glasgow Warriors – 54 caps
Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 40 caps
Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps
Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Damien Hoyland – Edinburgh Rugby – 4 caps
Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby – 19 caps
Cole Forbes – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
Sione Tuipulotu – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Mark Bennett – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps
Matt Currie – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
Sam Johnson – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps
James Lang – Edinburgh Rugby – 6 caps
Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors – 1 selection
Jack Blain – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 25 caps
Ross Thompson – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
Charlie Savala – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors – 42 caps
George Horne – Glasgow Warriors – 14 caps
Jamie Dobie – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
Scotland’s match against South Africa is already sold out and Australia’s match is expected to follow very soon.
A full house at BT Murrayfield is also expected for Japan.
Tonga will be the exciting opponents on Saturday 30 October when Scotland take the pitch for the first test match at BT Murrayfield with a live crowd since March 2020.
Plans are underway to have a big Halloween party with fans encouraged to wear fancy dress and with ‘kids for Â£ 1’ tickets available, this gives a great opportunity for families to see their national team in action.