Borderers Darcy Graham and Rory Sutherland named in Scottish Rugby World Cup squad
Edinburgh winger Graham, 26, is currently on 35 caps and former Ulster loosehead prop Sutherland, 30, is on 25, the most recent being as a 55th replacement during Saturday’s 30-27 summer test defeat versus France in St Etienne.
It’ll be Graham’s second world cup and Sutherland’s first.
The two former Hawick players are joined in the Scottish squad, captained by Jamie Ritchie, by former Southern Knight Rory Darge, his current Glasgow Warriors team-mate and erstwhile Melrose prop Jamie Bhatti and Bath centre Cameron Redpath, son of Galashiels-born ex-national skipper Bryan Redpath.
Darge, 23, is on ten caps; Bhatti, 29, on 31; and Redpath, 23, on seven.
The Scots’ other forwards are Ewan Ashman, Dave Cherry, Luke Crosbie, Scott Cummings, Jack Dempsey, Matt and Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Willem Nel, Pierre Schoeman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, George Turner and Hamish Watson.
Chris Harris, Ben Healy, George Horne, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe and Ben White are their other backs.
The Scots kick off the cup on Sunday, September 10, against defending champions South Africa and they also face Ireland in their pool knowing they’ll have to beat at least one of them to progress.
“South Africa and Ireland will be favourites against us,” said ex-Gala and Border Reivers star Townsend, 50.
“We'll be outsiders but that gives us a nothing-to-lose mentality.
“We just need to focus on delivering our game and go after the opposition.
“Even though we are fifth in the world, we’re playing teams ranked above us – and our half of the draw has two other teams from the top four in the world, New Zealand and France – but we’ve shown we can score tries against very good teams home and away, so we know we can deliver when it counts.
“Ours are a young squad growing in belief. You get that from going to places like Twickenham and coming away with a win. You get that from being a match for the top teams in the world.
“There are a lot of encouraging signs. What the players did in the Six Nations has got us down a path that we want to do more of – playing at speed, giving our best ball-carriers more opportunities.”