Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Squad for Summer Tour

Gregor Townsend - pic © Peter Watt/N50 Sports
Gregor Townsend - pic © Peter Watt/N50 Sports

Gregor Townsend has named a largely experimental squad for the summer tour of the Americas. It’s not a question of who misses out, but rather who is actually going, as Scotland travel to four countries for four tests with no Tier One test against Argentina to give it something worth not-resting the likes of Finn Russell.

In the pack, Pierre Schoeman, Scott Cummings, Jamie Ritchie and Rory Darge are the biggest names on the plane, while in the backs Huw Jones, Duhan van Der Merwe and Sione Tuipulotu are the only names from Scotland’s core XV who will feature presumably to create some sort of Bam Squad rescue bench in case of emergency.

The rest is a mix of players who often fill in for injuries or in rotation such as Kyle Steyn or Matt Fagerson, or are just returning following spells out of the test team through injury (Josh Bayliss, Rory Sutherland, Adam Hastings, Luke Crosbie), and younger players in need of test experience.

Scotland has an issue that we rely on the current 23-30 names almost exclusively and have done for the last 4 years at least. We badly need to fast track the next generation so that they are ready when the current crop retires, possibly as early as the next World Cup, and build depth in weaker positions. For all the moaning that we haven’t played a test in New Zealand for 24 years, this tour does at least offer the opportunity to blood new talent.

For some players who do have experience (Sutherland, Richardson) this tour will represent a chance to show that they can still cut it and should be in Townsend’s thoughts more often. For the new or younger players it is a chance to work with Townsend and his systems and perhaps force themselves into the reckoning for the big jump in quality of opponent that will come in the Autumn. It also represents a chance for Ewan Ashman to pin down a serious claim to the Scotland hooker shirt: George Turner is off to Japan, and URC top try-scorer Jonny Matthews has for some reason been omitted so his principle competition will be the newly converted Dylan Richardson. Matthews’ is possibly the only name with a real question mark next to it as he’s class, and needs more caps. There is no place for Rory Hutchinson

Other big names who will unsurprisingly be rested include stalwarts like Finn Russell, Ben White, Ali Price, Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham, Richie Gray, Zander Fagerson, Jack Dempsey, Hamish Watson, Grant Gilchrist, Sam Skinner.

Nathan McBeth, Patrick Harrison, Robbie Smith, Will Hurd, Max Williamson, Ewan Johnson, Gregor Brown, Gus Warr, Arron Reed and Matt Currie are the 10 uncapped players on tour.

Loosehead prop McBeth, back-five forward Brown and second row Williamson, all from Glasgow Warriors, have trained with Scotland in recent times.

Winger Arron Reed from Sale Sharks was in the Guinness Six Nations squad earlier this year and is joined by clubmate Gus Warr, a scrum-half who has represented Scotland at age-grade level. Leicester Tigers tighthead prop Will Hurd was also included in the 2024 Guinness Six Nations squad but dropped out through injury.

Edinburgh’s Matt Currie has previous experience of a Scotland summer tour, having started against Chile two years ago for Scotland A in a 45-5 victory.

Summer Tour Fixture List
Saturday 6 July: Canada v Scotland, TD Place, Ottawa, kick-off: 10pm UK time, 5pm local time
Friday 12 July: USA v Scotland, Audi Field, Washington DC, kick-off: 11.30pm UK time, 6.30pm local time
Saturday 20 July: Chile v Scotland, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, kick-off: 8pm UK time. 3pm local time
Saturday 27 July: Uruguay v Scotland, Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo, kick-off: 8pm UK time, 4pm local time

Will Hurd (Leicester Tigers) uncapped, Nathan McBeth (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped, Elliot Millar-Mills (Northampton Saints) 3 caps, Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps, Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 31 caps, Rory Sutherland (Oyonnax Rugby) 30 caps, Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps

Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) 17 caps, Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped, Dylan Richardson (The Sharks) 1 cap, Robbie Smith (Northampton Saints) uncapped

Alex Craig (Scarlets) 2 caps, Ewan Johnson (Oyonnax Rugby) uncapped, Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 38 caps, Max Williamson (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped, Glen Young (Edinburgh Rugby) 3 caps

Gregor Brown (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped, Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby) 5 caps, Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps, Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 19 caps, Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 44 caps, Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) 49 caps.

Gus Warr (Sale Sharks) uncapped, Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps, George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps

Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby) 26 caps, Ben Healy (Edinburgh Rugby) 5 caps, Ross Thompson (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps

Matt Currie (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped, Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 48 caps, Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps, Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps

Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 19 caps, Arron Reed (Sale Sharks) uncapped, Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 39 caps

Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps, Harry Paterson (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap

During the last two weeks of the tour, three development players will join the squad as a learning opportunity and to bolster training. Tighthead prop Fin Richardson, who has signed for Glasgow Warriors next season, will be joined by his new teammate, scrum-half Ben Afshar. Edinburgh Rugby lock Rob Carmichael will also be added to the group for the final two weeks.

Development players:
Fin Richardson (Exeter Chiefs) uncapped, Rob Carmichael (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped, Ben Afshar (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped

17 Responses

  1. Stronger squad than I expected. Matthews is an odd one to miss out. I also thought Connor Boyle might go. And I really wanted Tom Gordon to get the reward of a Scotland cap too.

  2. Is Rory Hutchinson injured and I’ve missed it? Bizarre he’s not in the squad

  3. Magnus Bradbury, Connor Boyle, Ben Vellacott & Johnny Matthews should all be on this tour.

    Euan Ferrie also from his recent URC showings deserves a spot also.

    1. depends what we want from the tour. Vellacott would be fine running at these defences but he is never going to be an international standard scrum half. No game management, poor kicking and service is not the most accurate. He can scamper about a lot, catches the eye and looks great but it really isn’t enough

      1. Poor kicking? Yet Ali Price one of the favourites with his terrible box kicking and equally poor game management

  4. Can’t understand why Johnny Matthews is not there. I suspect this is a Toonie ‘don’t like you’ non-selection which wouldn’t be a new thing.

    1. I suspect despite relative lack of caps his qualities are known; there are a lot of younger players in maybe Toony wants to get a look at up close?

  5. The backs continue to look after themselves.

    To an undiscerning eye, compared to other nations, the forwards, especially front row and second row are paper thin. Are there any exciting prospects, anyone who can do damage?

  6. Has there been any announcement as to what channel the games are on, or even if they are being televised at all? I can’t seem to find anything anywhere about it.

    1. My guess is still Premier sports? Not sure if you are on X/Twitter but there is an account on there that posts all UK rugby TV news/schedules

    2. TNT sports, apparently and the South American games on BBC Scotland and I player.

  7. Callum Hunter-Hill has joined Nortthampton Saints from Saracens, I assume he is another in Toonie’s ‘don’t like you’ category?

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion