Scotland squad: Finn Russell omitted as Gregor Townsend backs youth for July internationals

David Skippers
Gregor Townsend with Scotland squad and Finn Russell image.jpg

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell and head coach Gregor Townsend during a training session.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named a 37-man squad for next month’s mid-year Americas tour with 10 uncapped players included while several regulars have been omitted.

Nathan McBeth, Patrick Harrison, Robbie Smith, Will Hurd, Max Williamson, Ewan Johnson, Gregor Brown, Gus Warr, Arron Reed and Matt Currie are the uncapped players in Townsend’s squad.

Glasgow Warriors trio McBeth (loosehead prop), Brown (utility forward) and Williamson (second-row), have trained with the Scotland squad in recent times, along with Sale Sharks flyer Reed was in the Six Nations squad earlier this year. He is joined by Sale clubmate Gus Warr (scrum-half), who has represented Scotland at age-grade level.

Tour kicks off in North America

The tour gets underway in North America, where Scotland will face Canada in Ottawa on Saturday, July 6, before they travel to Washington DC to take on the USA on Friday, July 12.

The Scots then head to South America as they return to Santiago to face Chile on Saturday, July 20, having last played there played in 2022. The tour comes to a conclusion against Uruguay in Montevideo on Saturday, July 27 – the first time the sides will face each other since the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

Due to a lengthy season, which started last May with a 2023 Rugby World Cup training camp, several experienced players were expected to be rested and the likes of Darcy Graham, who is injured, Finn Russell, Blair Kinghorn, Ben White, Zander Fagerson, George Turner, Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist and Jack Dempsey have not been included in Townsend‘s squad.

However, there is still an experienced core in the squad with Jamie Ritchie, Rory Darge, Luke Crosbie, Javan Sebastian, Elliot Millar-Mills, Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, Ben Healy, Huw Jones, Harry Paterson, George Horne, Kyle Rowe, Stafford McDowall, Duhan van der Merwe, Sione Tuipulotu, Matt Fagerson, Pierre Schoeman, Scott Cummings and Kyle Steyn, who were all in action during this year’s Six Nations, also included.

Scotland great slams ‘lazy narrative’ of Finn Russell as Bath star proves English critics wrong

The tour should see Ritchie and Jones reach significant milestones for Scotland as both are close to making their 50th international appearances for their country, having won 49 and 48 Test caps, respectively.

In other news, Adam Hastings and Josh Bayliss have been declared fit for the tour, after being ruled out of previous squads through injury, while Tuipulotu is back from a knee injury sustained during the Six Nations.

Meanwhile, loose forward Dylan Richardson, who made his Scotland bow back in 2021 against Japan, also returns after recently lifting the Challenge Cup with the Sharks, coming off the replacements bench in the final against Gloucester in London.

It was also announced that three development players will join the squad as a learning opportunity and to bolster training during the last two weeks of the tour. They are: tighthead prop Fin Richardson, who has will join Glasgow Warriors next season, his new club-mate, scrum-half Ben Afshar and Edinburgh Rugby lock Rob Carmichael.

Winners and losers from the Scotland squad as Finn Russell rested and the search for new props begins

Scotland squad for Americas tour

Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby), Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby), Gregor Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Craig (Scarlets), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh Rugby), Will Hurd (Leicester Tigers), Ewan Johnson (Oyonnax Rugby), Nathan McBeth (Glasgow Warriors), Elliot Millar-Mills (Northampton Saints), Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh Rugby), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), Robbie Smith (Northampton Saints), Rory Sutherland (Oyonnax Rugby), Dylan Richardson (The Sharks), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors), Max Williamson (Glasgow Warriors), Glen Young (Edinburgh Rugby)

Backs: Matt Currie (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Healy (Edinburgh Rugby), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors), Harry Paterson (Edinburgh Rugby), Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Warriors), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby), Gus Warr (Sale Sharks)

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