Scotland pick nine uncapped players
Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson has included nine uncapped players in his squad to tour South Africa next month.
The Scots will take part in a four-nation tournament that includes the hosts, Italy and Samoa. The tour takes place in early June, the same time that the British and Irish Lions are touring Australia.
With a number of influential figures tied up Down Under, Johnson has taken the opportunity to blood a handful of fringe players and rest some tired legs. Those in line to make their debuts in South Africa are hookers Steven Lawrie and Pat MacArthur, lock Tim Swinson, utility-back Peter Horne, centre Alex Dunbar, full-backs Greig Tonks and Peter Murchie, and wings Tommy Seymour and Duncan Taylor.
"First up, it's a strong squad designed to win Test matches against quality opposition," commented Johnson.
"We've continued to monitor the players' form closely and we've been pleased that Glasgow have reached the knockout stages of the Rabo.
"We are taking the opportunity to have a look at some players and want to assess what they're like at this level. We need to be able to find out whether players who've done the business for their clubs can replicate that form in international footy.
"We also want to enable certain players who are known to us - for example Nick De Luca and Max Evans - to have the sort of off-season physical preparation that they've not had for a few years because of the demands of touring schedules."
With so many big names missing from their squad, a rugby bet against the Scots would seem a wise one.
Backs: Alex Dunbar* (Glasgow Warriors), Tom Heathcote (Bath), Peter Horne*, Ruaridh Jackson (both Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Sean Lamont, Peter Murchie*, Henry Pyrgos (all Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour* (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor* (Saracens), Greig Tonks* and Tim Visser (both Edinburgh).
Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), Kelly Brown (Saracens, captain), Geoff Cross, David Denton (both Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist (both Edinburgh), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Steven Lawrie* (Edinburgh), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur* (both Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Tim Swinson* and Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors).
* = uncapped