Scotland’s players to watch on their summer tour

With eight British and Irish Lions away, it’s time for the newcomers to play as Scotland face England A, Romania and Georgia on their summer tour.

With eight British and Irish Lions away, it’s time for the newcomers to play as Scotland face England A, Romania and Georgia on their summer tour.

Interim head coach Mike Blair – standing in for Gregor Townsend who is off to South Africa as Warren Gatland’s assistant – has named 17 uncapped stars in a 37-man squad that will be captained by Jamie Ritchie.

The team will meet up on 15 June before the fixture against England’s second-string side before flying to Romania and Georgia for games on 10 and 17 July.

Here are some exciting new faces that are worth keeping an eye on as Scotland build up to the 2022 Guinness Six Nations with this summer tour.

Jamie Dobie

Scrum-half Jamie Dobie only turns 20 on 7 June and is already being tipped as Scotland’s No.9 for years to come.

The Glasgow Warriors bright spark was named as the club’s young player of the year for 2019-20 and penned a long-term deal to remain at Scotstoun earlier this year.

Despite his tender age, Dobie has already been involved in Scotland camp after being invited to train with the side during the 2021 Guinness Six Nations but could make his full debut under the guidance of his country’s most capped scrum-half of all time in Blair.

Plucked from Merchiston Castle, Dobie signed professional terms straight after finishing school and has an impressive range of passing and game management skills.

Born in Inverness, Dobie is set to become the latest Merchiston alumnus to represent Scotland at scrum-half, following in the footsteps of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Scott Steele, who joins Dobie in this squad.

Ewan Ashman

Hooker Ewan Ashman has starred for Scotland’s Under-20s in the front row and the Sale Sharks youngster is set to be given a shot on the full international stage.

Born in Canada, the 21-year-old also qualifies for England but is the latest dual-qualified player to pin his colours to the Scottish mast after Cam Redpath, the son of former Scotland skipper Bryan.

Ashman should win his first cap this summer with stalwarts Fraser Brown and Stuart McInally missing but will face competition from George Turner and David Cherry.

His bulldozing runs in the Premiership have caught the eye and it was Ashman’s strong carrying that saw him finish the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Championship as the tournament’s top try-scorer with seven tries.

Sione Tuipulotu

Outside back Sione Tuipulotu could make his Scotland debut before making his Glasgow Warriors bow after being included in the squad for the summer tour.

The Australian age grade international will join up with the Warriors ahead of the 2021-22 season from Japanese Top League side Yamaha Jubilio.

The 24-year-old of Tongan descent qualifies for Scotland through his Glaswegian grandmother and is already familiar with some of his new international colleagues after scoring against them in the 2016 Junior World Championship.

Tuipulotu crossed for a double against a Scotland Under-20s side that included fellow squad member Scott Cummings and Lions tourist Zander Fagerson.

A former Melbourne Rebel, Tuipulotu, is a threat at centre or on the wing with his powerful ball-carrying.

Stand-in coach Blair said: “We’ve had our eye on Tuipulotu for quite some time.

“He’s a really special player. I think he qualified to play for five countries. He’s got a grandmother from Glasgow and he’s really keen to play for Scotland. He made that clear with us a while ago.

“He can play centre and wing, and he’ll be someone who can be really important for us.”

Josh Bayliss

Versatile forward Josh Bayliss has been in terrific form for Bath in the Premiership and will bolster Scotland’s options in the pack.

Bayliss qualifies for Scotland through his Aberdeen-born grandmother and after representing England from Under-16s through to Under-20s has settled on Scotland for his senior career.

He was called into the set-up for the game against France in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, but the match was postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak in the French squad, and Bayliss is still waiting for a debut.

The 23-year-old is a product of Millfield School and while Bayliss is predominantly a flanker, he has deputised in the second row when needed.

Like his good friend and clubmate Cam Redpath, Bayliss has been convinced to pledge his future to Scotland by Gregor Townsend.