Cotter names Scotland squad

Date published: October 25 2016

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Scotland head Coach Vern Cotter named a 31-man Scotland squad for the forthcoming 2016 November Test matches against Australia, Argentina and Georgia next month.

The squad features four additions and five replacements to the group that secured back-to-back wins over Japan in Toyota and Tokyo in June.

Prop Zander Fagerson and Olympic silver medal winning centre Mark Bennett join the group, having represented Scotland U20 and Team GB during the summer.

Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist has long since recovered from injury to add options to the second-row, while the form of back-row Hamish Watson has merited inclusion, intensifying the competition among the loose forwards.

Harlequins wing Tim Visser and Glasgow Warriors trio Finn Russell, Alex Dunbar and Rob Harley, are like-for-like replacements for Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Matt Scott and David Denton injured his hamstring, with Dunbar and Visser reversing their late replacement by Scott and Lamont ahead of the Japan tour.

The group is completed by the inclusion of uncapped 24-year-old Edinburgh prop Allan Dell after it was confirmed that club mates Willem Nel and Rory Sutherland have both been ruled out of the forthcoming Autumn Tests.

Nel exacerbated an ongoing neck complaint in his club’s Challenge Cup win over Harlequins on Saturday and will require a period of rest, while Sutherland suffered an untimely groin injury in the build-up to the same match, with Dell starting in his place.

In other news to come from the squad announcement, Gloucester centre Matt Scott has been left out.

Cotter said: “This is an important season for this group of players who are determined to be successful in a Scotland jersey, and have a clear will to win.

“We have a big emphasis on how we play in front of our home crowd and have three exciting challenges facing us this November.

“As always we will focus on doing the simple things consistently well, while also adding some fine detail to improve our skill sets and continue the progress of this team.”

Scotland will face the Wallabies for the first time since the 35-34 Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat at Twickenham this time last year in the first of the traditional three-Test series, that begins on Saturday 12 November.

Next up will be World Cup semi-finalists Argentina on Saturday 19 November, before the Scots complete the sequence with an historic Test against Georgia on Saturday 26 November, at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, the first Test between the two nations on Scottish soil.

Not considered through injury: Adam Ashe (foot), Kevin Bryce (shoulder), David Denton (hamstring), Ryan Grant (back), Willem Nel (neck), Rory Sutherland (groin), Duncan Weir (jaw).

2016 Autumn Tests:

Saturday 12 November: Scotland v Australia, Murrayfield
Saturday 19 November: Scotland v Argentina, Murrayfield
Saturday 26 November: Scotland v Georgia, Rugby Park

Scotland squad – 

Forwards: Allan Dell, Alasdair Dickinson, Zander Fagerson, Moray Low, Gordon Reid, Ross Ford, Fraser Brown, Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Tim Swinson, John Barclay, John Hardie, Rob Harley, Josh Strauss, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson

Backline: Greig Laidlaw(c), Henry Pyrgos, Pete Horne, Finn Russell, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Huw Jones, Duncan Taylor, Damien Hoyland, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser, Stuart Hogg

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