With 6 Tests to tackle in the space of 7 weeks, head coach Gregor Townsend has selected an expanded squad of 40 for this Autumn’s feast of international rugby. Here’s the On Top Of The Moon summary of who’s in and who’s out since the initial selection for the Six Nations earlier this year.
There are 13 in and 11 out. The ins include Oli Kebble and Duhan van der Merwe at the first opportunity following their qualification for Scotland plus recalls for Richie Gray (last cap March 2018); Damien Hoyland (last cap June 2017); and Blair Cowan (last cap February 2016).
- 3 uncapped players (Oli Kebble, Scott Steele and Duhan van der Merwe) have been selected in the squad of 40. Gregor Townsend has so far handed out 28 Test debuts during his time as Scotland coach.
- Another 10 men have been picked who have less than 10 caps each.
- 7 of those selected have never played a match in the Six Nations – will any of them feature against Wales as Scotland round out their tournament for 2020?
- Stuart Hogg (76), Richie Gray (65), Jonny Gray (57) and Fraser Brown (50) are the only players with over a half century of caps – although Finn Russell (49) and Sean Maitland (48) could join them during the Autumn.
Player numbers and game time
- 4 players (Blair Cowan, Oli Kebble, Scott Steele and Duhan van der Merwe) are selected for the first time by Toony taking the total included in his squads since June 2017 to 96.
- The head coach has picked 14 Glasgow Warriors, 14 players from Edinburgh and 12 Exiles.
- Only 2 men (Ali Price and Ben Toolis) in the current squad have played some part in each of Gregor’s previous series in charge (Summer 2017, Autumn 2017, 6 Nations 2018, Summer 2018, Autumn 2018, Six Nations 2019, Summer 2019, RWC warm-ups 2019, RWC 2019, Six Nations 2020). Fraser Brown played in the World Cup but missed the warm-up matches – the only group of games he’s not been involved in during the Townsend era.
- 76 different players have seen game time in the head coach’s 35 Tests so far.
- No-one has featured in all of Toony’s tests. Stuart McInally (28) has made the most appearances.
- The average age of the squad is 27.9 (Six Nations – 26.9).
- The backs’ average age is 27.0 while for the forwards it is 28.6 (Six Nations – 26.9 for both backs and forwards).
- There are 9 players over the age of 30. Blair Cowan is the elder statesmen at 34 – just 10 days older than Willem Nel. The other ‘veterans’ are Sean Maitland (32), Fraser Brown (31) and Richie Gray (31) plus Robert Harley, Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist and Nick Haining (all 30).
- At 22 years old Matt Fagerson is the baby of the squad – nearly a full year younger than Darcy Graham.
- The squad have combined for 123 Test tries.
- 37 have been scored by forwards, 86 by the backs.
- Stuart McInally is the top scorer in the pack with 8 tries.
- Stuart Hogg (20), Sean Maitland (15) and Huw Jones (10) have provided more than a third of the squad’s total try-scoring output.
- Maitland is the top try scorer of the Toony Test era with 10 tries.
With 3 years to go until the next Rugby World Cup here’s a look at the squad analysed by position and age bracket, taking into account which future RWCs they might still be available for as well as who might make the first choice 23 for this Autumn’s biggest games: