ANDY ROBINSON has named his squad for the upcoming November Internationals against New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga.
There are seven new caps in the 34-man squad, with Stuart McInally, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour, Henry Pyrgos and Grant Gilchrist all potential debutants. No captain has been confirmed, though hooker Ross Ford led the side during the summer.
Scotland won all three matches on their summer tour of Australia, Fiji and Samoa, a real confidence boost after a tough Six Nations campaign that saw them pick up only one victory against Italy. Although both Glasgow and Edinburgh have started poorly in the Heineken Cup, Robinson is excited about taking on New Zealand and South Africa at Murrayfield.
Robinson declared: “It’s always an exciting time when the Scotland squad comes together ahead of the first Test match of the season.
“It’s some four months since Scotland last played an international so when the squad reconvenes there’ll be an element of renewing acquaintances and reigniting the spark and spirit that was such a key part of our success on our summer tour.
“New Zealand are formidable opponents. They do the basics exceptionally well and play with a pace and ruthlessness. It’s no co-incidence that they are the best team in the world.
“We must look to build on the physical commitment of our players against Australia, Fiji and Samoa. As ever the Scotland supporters are right behind us and with more than 55,000 tickets sold already for our game against New Zealand, the players are determined to give their all.”
Backs: Mike Blair (Brive), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne and Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones, Greig Laidlaw (both Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (both Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) and Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)
Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford and Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (London Irish), Stuart McInally and Ross Rennie (both Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) and Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby).
Not considered due to injury:
Backs – Joe Ansbro (London Irish), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Cusiter, Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison (all Glasgow Warriors), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors) and Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors).
Forwards – Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh Rugby), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur and Jon Welsh (all Glasgow Warriors)
Scotland v New Zealand, Sunday 11 November, Murrayfield, kick-off 2.30pm
Scotland v South Africa, Saturday 17 November, Murrayfield, kick-off 2.30pm
Scotland v Tonga, Saturday 24 November, Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen, kick-off 3pm