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Why Scotland newbie Matthews merits his call-up - Steve Tandy

By PA
Johnny Matthews of Glasgow Warriors, centre, and teammates celebrates their side's sixth try during the United Rugby Championship (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Steve Tandy admitted Johnny Matthews has earned his chance after the Glasgow centre was called into the Scotland squad for the first time.

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The 25-year-old hooker was drafted in as a late inclusion for the trip to South America following concerns over clubmate George Turner, who has been struggling with illness.

“George Turner has picked up a bit of an illness so we just wanted a bit of coverage there,” Scotland defence coach Tandy explained.

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“Johnny has been firmly in our thoughts and round the discussions for selection.

“At Glasgow you’ve got Fraser Brown and George Turner, and Johnny has really matched up with them and performed in some big games. It’s an exciting opportunity for him but also for us to work closely with him.”

Turner remains in contention to feature on the tour which will include an A team game against Chile next weekend and then three Tests against Argentina.

However, it was announced on Friday that Gloucester fly-half Adam Hastings and Harlequins’ Huw Jones have withdrawn from the squad due to hamstring and back issues respectively. No replacements have been called in for either player.

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“It’s unfortunate for the boys missing out but we feel round the backline we’ve got enough cover there to take on the tour,” said Tandy, explaining why no new backs have been called in ahead of the squad’s departure for South America this Sunday.

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