Scotland call up six uncapped players for summer tour


Scotland last faced USA at the World Cup in 2015, winning 39-16

Stuart McInally will captain Scotland for the June Tests with Canada, USA and Argentina, with six uncapped players in Gregor Townsend’s squad.

Lewis Carmichael, Jamie Ritchie, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Adam Hastings and James Lang are the potential debutants on tour.

Six Nations skipper John Barclay is among those rested, along with Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russell and Jonny Gray.

Huw Jones, Hamish Watson and WP Nel miss out miss with injuries.

Glasgow centre Jones needs wrist surgery, while Edinburgh Watson is recovering from a shoulder problem and Edinburgh prop Nel has a knee issue.

In the absence of Edinburgh-bound flanker Barclay and Clermont scrum-half Laidlaw, McInally leads the team for the first time. The Edinburgh hooker has scored three tries in 17 international appearances.

Glasgow number eight Ryan Wilson is another experienced player afforded a longer summer holiday, while Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh, Ross Ford, Cornell Du Preez, Rob Harley and Josh Strauss also sit out.

Half-backs Horne and Hastings will be aiming to impress, along with back-row Matt Fagerson as Glasgow provide three of the uncapped players.

Harlequins’ Lang adds competition at fly-half, while Edinburgh pair Carmichael and Ritchie join the forwards.

The Scots, ranked fifth in the world, will meet Canada in Edmonton on 9 June before a Houston showdown with USA on the 16th, finishing against the Pumas in Resistencia on the 23rd.

Glasgow Warriors’ stand-off Adam Hastings is the son of former Scotland great Gavin

“There are twin goals for this tour – the first is to build on the work we’ve done so far this season and finish with improved performances,” said Townsend.

“We also have the Rugby World Cup in our thoughts, as this will be our last tour before we leave for Japan next year.

“Touring and staying together for four weeks and experiencing different environments will be very informative – seeing how players get on with each other, how much they improve and how they rise to each challenge we face on tour.”

It will be Scotland’s third North American trip, having previously played both Canada and the USA on tours in 2002 and 2014.

Canada have caused problems before, winning 26-23 in Vancouver in 2002 and pushing Scotland all the way in a 19-17 defeat four years ago.

The most recent meeting with USA was a 39-16 victory at the 2015 World Cup.

Scotland are looking for a fourth consecutive win against Argentina, who are currently ranked ninth in the global standings.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh Rugby), Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby), David Denton (Worcester Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Gray (Toulouse), Luke Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), Murray McCallum (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby)

Backs: Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby), James Lang (Harlequins), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens)