Scotland

Coach Gregor Townsend on Tuesday named his 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The absence of star midfielder Huw Jones and loose forward Josh Strauss, both players with strong South African links, are among the selection shocks.

Stuart McInally will captain a Scotland squad packed with experience – supported by John Barclay and Greig Laidlaw, who have both captained Scotland before.

Thirteen of the group have previous World Cup experience, with Edinburgh back row John Barclay the only player preparing for a third campaign having appeared in both 2007 and 2011).

The others are Glasgow’s Fraser Brown, Jonny Gray, Pete Horne, Tommy Seymour and Ryan Wilson, Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist and Willem Nel, plus Greig Laidlaw from Clermont Auvergne, Sean Maitland of Saracens, Stuart Hogg  who plays for Exeter Chiefs, Finn Russell from Racing 92 and Gordon Reid of the Ayrshire Bulls, who all featured in 2015.

Barclay is also the most-capped member of the squad with 74 of the group’s total of 902 appearances combined, with Scarlets back row Blade Thomson operating at the other end of the spectrum, with just one Test cap.

Glasgow Warriors contribute the most players (12) to the squad, with Edinburgh close behind with 10, eight coming from exile clubs and Reid representing the Super Six side, whose tournament begins in November this year.

Wing Darcy Graham is the youngest member of the squad having turned 22 in June, although there are three other 22-year-olds in the squad –Scott Cummings and Adam Hastings, and Blair Kinghorn – while Laidlaw is the oldest at 33 years and 326 days (with Nel also 33). The squad has an average age of 27.

Completing the squad’s forward stable are front rows Simon Berghan, Allan Dell, Zander Fagerson and George Turner, and Edinburgh trio Ben Toolis (lock), Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson (back row).

Joining Pete Horne as the squad’s centre options are Sam Johnson and exiles Chris Harris and Duncan Taylor, with scrum-halves George Horne and Ali Price completing the back division.

Scotland Squad for Rugby World Cup 2019​

Forwards: 

John Barclay (Edinburgh), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (London Irish), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh, captain), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).

Backs: 

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens).