Toony calls up Hughes and Tonks

Head Coach Gregor Townsend has added two backs to Scotland’s summer tour squad as replacements for Sean Maitland – who is so valuable he needs two to cover the hole he leaves.

The Scotland wing who was probably hoping for a run at 15 in the navy shirt with Hoggy away on Lions duty but he injured his ankle ligaments in Saracens’ English Premiership loss to Wasps on Saturday 6 May and will remain in their care.

Teammate Duncan Taylor is one of the few Scots still in league action and is in one piece following Saracens Champions Cup win (John Barclay will captain the Scarlets in the PRO12 semi-final against Leinster this weekend).

Townsend has turned to Glasgow wing Rory Hughes and London Irish full back Greig Tonks – last seen round these parts in Edinburgh colours. With Irish set for a return to the Premiership might Blair Cowan resurface too? Gordon Reid is rumoured to be pitching up there next season and is arguably too valuable to ignore.

The Scotland touring squad convened at Oriam on Wednesday 17 May for a training session.

Hughes (24) last featured for Scotland in the autumn in the win over Georgia at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock and has 2 caps. Tonks (27) has six caps and last played for the national team in the 2015 world cup warm up against Italy.

It was also announced today that Champions Cup qualifying from the PRO12 will now be decided only on league positioning rather than a quota system for country of origin, with the Top 7 gaining entry.


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Alan Kerr is a long time rugby lover and occasional player for Broughton FP RFC. Site co-founder Al prides himself on offering the "man on the bus" view of Scottish Rugby!

15 comments on “Toony calls up Hughes and Tonks

  1. Merlot on

    It seems they have finally decided to let the best sides play in the Champions Cup. No longer will Italy (or us, for that matter) have a guaranteed side in the cup. It is now (from next season) just the top 7 in the Pro12 who get to play in the top european competition, along with the top 6 from each of the Aviva Premiership and the Top14. The last place goes to the winners of the Challenge Cup – creating an added incentive for that competition.
    Brilliant. For too long teams picked in the same pool as the Italian representatives have had a much better chance of progressing (only once has a second place qualifier not come from the pool with an Italian side). I’ve always thought the guaranteed spot was too charitable, and in any case I am sure Zebre/Treviso will relish the chance to compete. Zebre lost by an average margin of 40 points this season in the ERC. That cannot be good for them or their fans.
    And our spot is no longer guaranteed either, but I believe both of our pro teams should make the top half of the table next season, so it’s a moot point.

    • Andy N on

      Think you’ll find that the Irish and Welsh don’t have a guaranteed place either….being pedantic, but this is the sort of attitude that perpetuates the myth that we’re not good enough. Glasgow and Edinburgh should both be aiming for play offs next season, no ifs or buts – get that right, and Champions cup will look after itself.

      • Walker on

        Considering the 4 teams for Irish and Welsh. Your point is probably moot. To have no Irish or Welsh consideration would require both Scots teams AND an Italian team to finish in the top 7, along with all 4 Irish teams (for instance) to exclude Wales. The likelihood of that scenario is so minimal as to be pointless

  2. David B on

    It’s difficult to express what these changes mean given the changes in the league over the years, but there have only been two occasions in the 16-year history of the competition when no Scottish team finished in the top 7 (2010/11 and 2003/04). In the seven years of the 12 team pro12, only once has a Scottish team not qualified on merit, so I’m not sure why the Scottish teams get so much stick for this.

    Year Edinburgh Glasgow Borders
    2016/2017 9 6
    2015/2016 9 3
    2014/2015 8 1
    2013/2014 8 2
    2012/2013 10 3
    2011/2012 11 4
    2010/2011 8 11
    2009/2010 6 3
    2008/2009 2 7
    2007/2008 4 5
    2006/2007 8 7
    2005/2006 5 11 9
    2004/2005 7 6 11
    2003/2004 10 11 12
    2002/2003 2nd in Pool, QF 2nd in Pool, QF 6th in Pool, DNQ
    2001/2002 6th in Pool 3rd in Pool, SF

  3. john martin on

    Is Tonks in there to release Taylor to play 15, I really liked Tonks but 10 or 12 is his best position IMO

  4. Ade on

    Terrible shame​ for Maitland getting injured so close to the end of the season. I’m sure he would have played a big part on the tour. While I’m sure that Rozza and Tonks will be thrilled to get the call I’m not sure Tonks is the best option, although Hughes probably is.

    Along with Ruaridh Jackson, we now have 2 tourists who have been tried and found, if not wanting, at least lacking that little extra something at the very top level. Is it likely that Tonks would be a viable alternative if Hogg were unavailable for Japan in 2019? I would have preferred to have seen a younger player, such as Blair Kinghorn or Darcy Graham travel, with a view to developing their test experience and making them realistic options at the next RWC.

    But that’s just me – still excited for the tour, and hope that Hughes and Tonks both go well if given the chance.

    As for the Champions Cup…..hmmmmm….. Smacks of the money driven gerrymandering that has repeatedly taken place in the footballing equivalent. On the surface the changes make sense in removing the *banker* 5 point games that Italian teams seem to generate, but the people behind these changes are the English and French club owners, not a group noted for their philanthropy. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

  5. The Chiel on

    Tonks is a bizarre choice – he hasn’t even been starting for LI. Last man standing ?

    I like Hughes – raw meat for the balcony !

  6. TheSmidge on

    It’s an interesting selection to say the least, but who else is there? Clearly, the plan is for Kinghorn to play a significant part in the U20 campaign, so I’m struggling to think of anyone else available that would have merited a call-up. The only other person that might even conceivably have been in that queue is Tom Brown and, well, I think it’s fair to say he’s not international standard.

    However, it does raise the question of who exactly is going to start at 15, particularly against Australia. I think there is every chance that Taylor will be tried there against Italy – not sure if we’ll have a better opportunity to see if he can play as an international 15 (we know he can fill in at club level). If that doesn’t work, then it’s a choice between Tonks and Jackson for Australia, so I think we’ll all be hoping it is a success.

  7. NinjaBill on

    Not really relevant but what a play off between Scarlets and Leinster. Scarlets’ defence was immense and J Davies looked back to his best. Leinster were all over the place – Sexton was very poor. Good to see at least one Scot (and DTH) in the Pro12 final.

    • Glarugby on

      Excellent performance from scarlet, and john barclay played very well. After a few big hits the leinster lions looked like they wanted to avoid being hurt, whereas scarlets lions really stepped up.

      As an aside i saw that sam warburton didnt play for cardiff in their crucial play off with stade francais as he is being saved for the lions. Shows personal lions ‘glory’ is more important than his clubs prospects and fans. Very poor show from a player i thought was better than that.

      • Ade on

        Scarlets were excellent last night. Committed in defence, and very clinical when the opportunities arose in the Leinster 22.

        Leinster on the other hand played like Glasgow so often did this season. Lacking accuracy, dropping passes, getting moves wrong.

        I’ll be in Dublin cheering on Scarlets next weekend. Not just because of the Barclay/DTH connection, but because even as a neutral I would find it hard to wave a flag for either Munster or Ospreys.

        Glarugby – isn’t Warburton injured? Thought he was sufffering a knee injury and that was why he wasn’t playing.

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