17 Warriors selected in Scotland training squad
17 Glasgow Warriors have been named the Scotland training squad ahead of the 2023 The Famous Grouse Nations Series, as preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France start to intensify.
The Scotstoun outfit once again contributes the most players to Gregor Townsend’s national setup, with the Warriors preparing for next weekend’s massive EPCR Challenge Cup Final clash with Toulon at the Aviva Stadium.
Stafford McDowall is the only uncapped Warrior selected by Townsend in the 41-strong playing group, the centre rewarded for a series of consistently high-quality performances in both the BKT URC and EPCR Challenge Cup.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones join McDowall amongst the midfield options, the pair having been selected in the official Guinness Six Nations Team of the Tournament after their performances earlier this year.
Club captain Kyle Steyn is named as one of five back-three players chosen by Townsend after featuring in all five of Scotland’s Six Nations clashes in 2023, with Ollie Smith joining Steyn following his first Guinness Six Nations start in the win over Italy in March.
A trio of Glasgow Warriors scrum-halves are selected by Townsend, as Jamie Dobie – whose single cap to date came in a 60-14 win over Tonga at BT Murrayfield back in October 2021 – joins Ali Price and George Horne amongst the options in the number nine shirt.
Up front, Rory Darge’s scintillating form since his return from injury sees the openside selected as one of seven back-rowers named by the coaching group, with club-mates Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey – Player of the Match in Glasgow’s Challenge Cup semi-final victory over the Scarlets – joining Darge in the back-row cohort.
Having reached a century of Glasgow Warriors appearances against Munster last weekend, Richie Gray is named in the second-row alongside club-mate, and fellow recent centurion, Scott Cummings.
George Turner is the sole Glasgow hooker selected by Townsend, with fellow Guinness Six Nations regulars Zander Fagerson and Jamie Bhatti chosen amongst the props.
Murphy Walker completes the Warriors contingent, the Dundee-born front-rower looking to add to his two Scotland caps to date.
The 41-player group will gather for an initial training camp on 29 May to begin preparations for warm-up matches in the Famous Grouse Nations Series against France, Italy and Georgia at BT Murrayfield in July and August. Scotland also play France in an away warm-up in St. Etienne in August.
The Rugby World Cup itself will see Scotland compete in Pool B alongside South Africa, Ireland, Tonga and Romania, with a first fixture against the world champion Springboks on Sunday 10 September in Marseille.