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Breaking: Scotland name 41-man World Cup training squad

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend has followed up the Tuesday morning confirmation that he will be the Scotland coach through to the 2026 Guinness Six Nations by announcing his 41-strong training squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France.

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Just two uncapped players – Cameron Henderson and centre Stafford McDowall – are included in the group that will gather for its first training session later this month ahead of a pool campaign that includes massive matches versus South Africa and Ireland.

Jonny Gray has not been included after suffering a knee injury recently, while Fraser Brown, Johnny Matthews and Mark Bennett are among the most notable absentees. The squad will be trimmed to 33 in August.

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A statement read: “Head coach Gregor Townsend has named an extended 41-player Scotland squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. The group will be led by captain Jamie Ritchie and will be trimmed to the requisite 33-player list ahead of the tournament itself, which gets underway in France in September.

“Of the 23 forwards selected by Townsend, flanker Rory Darge returns to the international set-up having missed the Guinness Six Nations through injury, with winger Darcy Graham also returning as one of 18 backs named, again having been unavailable through injury since the turn of the year.

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“A consistency of selection means that there are only two uncapped players in the training squad: Second row Cameron Henderson and centre Stafford McDowall. There is plenty of experience with four players – WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Finn Russell and recent cap centurion Stuart Hogg – aiming to represent Scotland at a third Rugby World Cup (all featured in 2015 and 2019).

“The 41-player group will gather for an initial training camp on May 29 to begin preparations for warm-up matches in the Famous Grouse Nations Series against France, Italy and Georgia at BT Murrayfield in July and August. Scotland also play France in an away warm-up in St Etienne in August.

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“The Rugby World Cup itself will see Scotland compete in Pool B alongside South Africa, Ireland, Tonga and Romania, with a first fixture against the world champion Springboks on Sunday, September 10, in Marseille.”

Scotland (41-strong RWC training squad)
Forwards (23):

Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 7 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps
Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps
Andy Christie (Saracens) 4 caps
Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 4 caps
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps
Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 33 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 58 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 62 caps
Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 73 caps
Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers) uncapped
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) 47 caps
WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 54 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – CAPTAIN – 41 caps
Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps
Javan Sebastian (Scarlets) 3 caps
Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 25 caps
Rory Sutherland (Ulster Rugby) 23 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 35 caps
Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 57 caps

Backs (18)

Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap
Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 33 caps
Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 42 caps
Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby) 27 caps
Ben Healy (Munster Rugby) 1 caps
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 100 caps
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 20 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 36 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 43 caps
Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 61 caps
Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 5 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) 69 caps
Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps
Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps
Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 16 caps
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 28 caps
Ben White (London Irish) 14 caps

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