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Scotland pick 14 uncapped players, including a Sharks URC forward

By Liam Heagney

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Scotland boss Gregor Townsend has named 14 uncapped players in his 36-strong squad for a two-day training camp that starts this Sunday at Oriam, the most notable inclusions being Sharks URC back-rower Dylan Richardson and Sione Tuipulotu, the recently signed Glasgow midfielder. Richardson is the only non-Scottish-based player to be included as the camp falls outside the window for international player release. 

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That means the Scotland squad is short of Lions tourists such as Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris, Duhan van Merwe, Finn Russell and Rory Sutherland, but Ali Price, Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson are all included after their tour of South Africa.

It is that southern hemisphere country that provides the most intriguing name included in the training squad. Richardson is a back-rower who has been touring the UK and Ireland with the Durban-based Sharks in recent weeks in the new United Rugby Championship and his impact hasn’t gone unnoticed by Townsend, who wants to check out the 22-year-old flanker he first came across when he played for his franchise against the Lions in July.

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Richardson, who qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born father, started the URC matches against Munster and Glasgow Warriors, while he was a sub for last weekend’s win at Ospreys. The other five uncapped forwards included are Rory Darge, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Hodgson, Marshall Sykes and Pierre Schoeman.

The eight uncapped backs are Rufus McLean, Cole Forbes, Tuipulotu, Matt Currie, Jack Blain, Ross Thompson, Charlie Savala and Jamie Dobie. Townsend said: “It has been great to see both Edinburgh and Glasgow make positive starts to their URC campaigns driven by some standout performances from both young and established players.

“With four tough Test matches ahead of us it is important we bring players together early, connect with them as coaches and enable them to grow as a group before the campaign gets underway against Tonga. We will then move on to the challenge of facing in-form Australia, world champions South Africa and a very dangerous Japan team. We are pleased with the depth we are able to call upon to make up this training squad and it provides a genuine opportunity for players to put their hand up for selection.”

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SCOTLAND TRAINING SQUAD
Forwards (19):
Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 13 caps
Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 8 caps
Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 41 caps
Rory Darge – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Dylan Richardson – Cell C Sharks – uncapped
Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby – 27 caps
Luke Crosbie – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby – 45 caps
Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Rob Harley – Glasgow Warriors – 22 caps
Marshall Sykes – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 38 caps
Oli Kebble – Glasgow Warriors – 8 caps
Murray McCallum – Glasgow Warriors – 3 caps
George Turner – Glasgow Warriors – 17 caps
Fraser Brown – Glasgow Warriors – 54 caps
Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 40 caps
Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps

Backs (17):
Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Damien Hoyland – Edinburgh Rugby – 4 caps
Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby – 19 caps
Cole Forbes – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Sione Tuipulotu – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Mark Bennett – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps
Matt Currie – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Sam Johnson – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps
James Lang – Edinburgh Rugby – 6 caps
Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors – 1 cap
Jack Blain – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 25 caps
Ross Thompson – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped
Charlie Savala – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped
Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors – 42 caps
George Horne – Glasgow Warriors – 14 caps
Jamie Dobie – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped

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Scotland pick 14 uncapped players, including a Sharks URC forward

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