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Townsend names 42-man World Cup training squad

Townsend names 42-man World Cup training squad

Inpho

  • Gregor Townsend picks three uncapped players, including Northampton Saints centre Rory Hutchinson
  • Scotland finished fifth in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations, winning one of their five games
  • They will face Guinness Six Nations rivals Ireland in the Pool stages

Gregor Townsend has named three uncapped players in Scotland’s 42-man World Cup training squad, four months out from the tournament in Japan.

Rory Hutchinson, Grant Stewart and Blade Thomson all make the cut, while in contrast veteran flanker John Barclay is fit enough to earn selection following a year out injured.

Townsend has left two spaces unfulfilled and will be keeping an eye on the end of the domestic campaigns, offering one more chance for players to impress.

As expected, there is a raft of familiar names – such as Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell and Jonny Gray – selected for the squad, with 14 players boasting previous World Cup experience.

“We made a conscious decision to keep squad numbers low, which enables us to do more work with those most likely to be on the plane to Japan,” Townsend said.

“We’re really excited to work with this group of players who will now compete hard for a place in the final 31-man group going to the World Cup.

“There are of course a number of very good players who have missed out – players who have been unlucky with injuries this year or haven’t hit form at the right time – while others are unlucky to lose out on some very close decisions.”

Scotland, who finished fifth in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations, begin their preparations at the end of this month before stepping up the intensity from mid-June.

They play four warm-up matches, home and away against both France and Georgia, in August before flying to Japan.

They have been drawn in Pool A alongside Japan, Russia, Samoa and fellow Guinness Six Nations side Ireland.

FORWARDS (23)

John Barclay (Edinburgh)
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh)
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors)
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh)
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors)
Allan Dell (Edinburgh)
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh)
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons)
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)

Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)
Willem Nel (Edinburgh)
Gordon Reid (London Irish)
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors)
Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks)
Blade Thomson (Scarlets)
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh)
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors)
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)

BACKS (19)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh)
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors)
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons)
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors)
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors)
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors)
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors)
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors)
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)
Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne)
Sean Maitland (Saracens)
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks)
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)
Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh)
Finn Russell (Racing 92)
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
Duncan Taylor (Saracens)