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Monday Jun 8, 2015

Scotland coach Vern Cotter looks ahead to World Cup as he announces squad

Scotland coach Vern Cotter looks ahead to World Cup as he announces squad

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter last week announced his 46 man training squad ahead of September’s Rugby World Cup. The extended squad features five uncapped players including Sevens sensation Damien Hoyland and ‘project signings’ Josh Strauss, Willem Nel, Mike Cusack and Hugh Blake.

Notable absentees once more are former captain Kelly Brown and Edinburgh stalwart Roddy Grant, despite both showing impressive form in this year’s Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro12 respectively. 

The training squad was described by Cotter as “a living document” suggesting that players can come and go before the final squad of 31 is announced at the end of August. 

Scotland will play a series of warm up matches as they prepare for their opening match of the competition against Japan on September 23rd at Kingsholm. They face Ireland in Dublin on 15 August, back to back matches with Italy in Turin (22 August) and Edinburgh (29 August) before they take on France on 5 September.

It is only after the Italians leave Edinburgh that Cotter will have a firmer idea on his final squad, which is something he knows will take time. The Kiwi nevertheless retains belief that the recent success of Glasgow in winning the Pro12 will be felt through the game in Scotland, and that confidence can be taken forward.

“Every team entering wants to win, but to win a World Cup you first have to qualify from your pool, and that’s our major focus: two games in five days [Japan and USA] followed by another in six [South Africa] and another in seven [Samoa],” Cotter said. 

“We know that teams play better in the Rugby World Cup, and we want to be one of those teams.”This is not a firmly fixed squad, it’s a living document.”

Cotter added, “Hopefully the confidence the players have gained from their successes will filter through into the rest of Scottish rugby. We’ll need that for this campaign.

“The selection process was made easier by some good performances from a number of players, especially in the latter part of the season,” said Cotter.

Scotland Squad:

Forwards: Mike Cusack (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby), Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors), Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Castres), Jim Hamilton (Saracens), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors), John Barclay (Scarlets), Hugh Blake (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan (London Irish), David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby), Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby)

Backs: Chris Cusiter (Sale Sharks), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps), Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors), Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby), Rory Hughes (Glasgow Warriors) Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (London Irish), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby), Tim Visser (Harlequins)

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Scotland coach Vern Cotter looks ahead to World Cup as he announces squad | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos