Hawick rugby stars Stuart Hogg, Rory Sutherland and Darcy Graham named in Scotland squad for autumn test series
Borderers Stuart Hogg, Rory Sutherland and Darcy Graham have all been named in Scotland’s national rugby squad for their upcoming autumn test series.
Full-back Hogg, continuing as captain for his country, and prop Sutherland are among eight members of Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad for this summer’s South African tour called up by Scottish head Coach Gregor Townsend.
Besides the two ex-Hawick players, the Lions in ex-Gala star Townsend’s 42-man squad are half-backs Ali Price and Finn Russell, centre Chris Harris, winger Duhan van de Merwe, flanker Hamish Watson and prop Zander Fagerson.
A dozen new faces have been added to Scotland’s extended squad for the series following a training session held in Edinburgh earlier this week.
The Scots’ autumn series starts with a game against Tonga on Saturday, October 30, and continues with sellout matches against Australia on Sunday, November 7, and South Africa on Saturday, November 13, before wrapping up against Japan on Saturday, November 20.
Centres Matt Scott, Huw Jones and fly-half Adam Hastings also retain their places, alongside flanker Sam Skinner.
Also included, as well as ex-Hawick star Graham, are fellow Edinburgh backs Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland and Mark Bennett, and they are joined by fellow capital team-mates Grant Gilchrist, Stuart McInally, Jamie Ritchie and Nick Haining.
Glasgow Warriors are also well represented, by hookers Fraser Brown and George Turner, lock Rob Harley, back-row Matt Fagerson and props Jamie Bhatti, Murray McCallum and Oli Kebble, as well as centre Sam Johnson, scrum-half George Horne and wing Kyle Steyn.
The 12 uncapped players in the squad are Ewan Ashman, Josh Bayliss, Rory Darge, Dylan Richardson, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Hodgson, Marshall Sykes, Pierre Schoeman, Rufus McLean, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson and Sione Tuipulotu.
“It’s exciting to bring together a blend of highly-experienced and uncapped players for our first week of the autumn nations series campaign,” said Townsend.
“There have been some notable performances from both our home-based players and those at clubs outside of Scotland, which has enabled us as coaches to select a group which are playing well and will be motivated across the four games.
“We also feel that this the right time to bring in some younger players, given their early season form. They have created opportunities for themselves to represent their country and we believe that they will thrive in the Test match environment.
“We face four tough matches in four weeks and Tonga, Australia, South Africa and Japan each present a different challenge and an opportunity to perform in front of our people at Murrayfield.
“It’s great to hear that we will now play Australia in front of a capacity crowd at BT Murrayfield, and it means a huge amount to the players to have this level of support.”
Sutherland, 29, now with Worcester Warriors, is on 16 caps; Graham, 24, is on 19; and Hogg, 29, of Exeter Chiefs, is on 85.