The rumours were true. If you’re connected to any of the rugby sites on social media, you’d probably read rumours of five of the bigger names which were not going to be appearing in the official squad announcement at Linlithgow Palace, on what was a typically dreich, end-of-the-summer afternoon.
Huw Jones, the Hammer of the English – gone after a drastic drop-off in form.
Rory Hutchinson, the buck from Northampton Saints, a Gallagher Premiership young player of the season nominee (player of the month in February), and double try scorer against Georgia on his first international start– not this time son.
The highly lauded young duo of Magnus Bradbury and Matt Fagerson, who we felt would add some back-row dynamism in the Number 8 jersey – neither of them made the cut.
Josh Strauss – well, that one wasn’t really a shock, was it?
Now that’s dealt with all the sensationalist stuff (which ended up being right, so next question is; who’s the mole?) let’s confirm the 31 men who will be saying “Sayonara” to their loved ones in the not so distant future.
Forwards: Simon Berghan, Allan Dell, Zander Fagerson, WP Nel, Gordon Reid; Fraser Brown, Stuart McInally (c), George Turner; Scott Cummings, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Ben Toolis; John Barclay, Jamie Ritchie, Blade Thomson, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson
Backs: George Horne (aka ‘Horneito’), Greig Laidlaw, Ali Price; Adam Hastings, Finn Russell; Chris Harris, Peter Horne, Sam Johnson, Duncan Taylor; Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour; Stuart Hogg
It’s not the squad that we here at SRB Towers would have necessarily liked, but it is the one we predicted.
Stuart McInally’s insertion as captain may raise a few eyebrows, but with Barclay struggling a little for fitness, if his performance against France is anything to go by, and Laidlaw locked in battle with Ali Price for the 9 jersey, McInally is the obvious starter of the trio.
I’m sure all of you are complete in agreement with Toonie, so we may as well not bother with a comments section. Myself, Rory and Cammy will be mulling over the announcement on the podcast tonight, which should be ready for your aural cavities by tomorrow.