Canada v Scotland: 10 uncapped players in match-day squad for tour opener

Matt Currie, Arron Reed, Gus Warr, Max Willaimson and Gregor Brown have all been named in starting XV

Arron Reed will make his Scotland debut against Canada on Saturday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Arron Reed will make his Scotland debut against Canada on Saturday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

GREGOR TOWNSEND has named five international debutants in his Scotland squad to take Canada in Ottawa on Saturday evening, with the same number again on the bench.

Edinburgh outside-centre Matt Currie, Sale Sharks winger Arron Reed, Sale Sharks scrum-half Gus Warr, Glasgow second-row Max Williamson and Glasgow blindside flanker Gregor Brown will all be on the pitch for kick-off, while Northampton hooker Robbie Smith, Glasgow prop Nathan McBeth, Leicester Tigers prop Will Hurd, Oyannax second-row Ewan Johnson and Edinburgh winger Ross McCann are set to feature at some point over the course of the 80 minutes.

Inside-centre Stafford McDowall and openside flanker Luke Crosbie will co-captain the team, which features Jamie Dobie as starting winger but also covering scrum-half (his primary position), with no specialist No 9 names on the bench.


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Sharks’ hooker Dylan Richardson will start the match having previously made his Scotland debut in the back-row, against Japan at Murrayfield in 2021.

Harry Paterson will make his second Scotland appearance at full-back after being named as a late starter in the Guinness Six Nations this year against France, having missed the remainder of last season through injury,

 

Scotland (versus Canada at TD Place in Ottawa on Saturday @ 10pm BST): H Paterson; J Dobie, M Currie, S McDowall (C-©), A Reed; R Thomson, G Warr; R Sutherland, D Richardson, E Millar-Mills, M Williamson, G Young, G Brown, L Crosbie (C-©), J Bayliss. Replacements: R Smith, N McBeth, W Hurd, E Johnson, M Fagerson, B Healy, K Steyn, R McCann.

 


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About David Barnes 4029 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

31 Comments

  1. Glad some younger players are getting game time but for me this should be classed as a Scotland A fixture to prevent devaluing the jersey.

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  2. Dobie looks to me that he could more than do a job at 10, looks taller on the pitch. Might be worth bringing him on there given his natural talent and age and Scotland’s future need. Queue the usual rants about playing players out of position. Yes, I’d have tried Paterson there during the Dan Parks era too.

    • Aye absolutely we should give it a go, we could then think about having a 7:1 split on the bench!!!
      Only joking honest.

  3. Congratulations to Luke on being co captain. Our hard man (alongside Dempsey) and there is a need for steel at times in Scotland back row

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  4. Feels like a great ‘changing of the guard’ tour with McDowall and Fagerson the leaders of the next generation in this squad. There are 14 players younger than McDowall and Fagerson in the match day 23, all of whom should be available for the next two world cups. If even half of these 16 players become regular internationals it will be a successful tour. Add in Harrison, Walker and Rowe who are also on tour, and White, Redpath, Henderson, Darge, and Ashman as well as a few others who are already capped and we have the foundations of a decent squad going forward.

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    • David, surely Darge is the future leadership? Tuipulotu has been vice and former captain Ritchie is still in the squad.
      Darge is 24, Tuipulotu and Ritchie only a year older than McDowall at 27.
      McDowall isn’t even first choice at club or country.

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      • The way McDowall has been playing this season he would be first choice at almost any other club than Glasgow. I’d be very happy with him starting for Scotland if Tuipulotu was unavailable.

        PS don’t count that down vote hit that by accident instead of reply

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        • McDowall is a good club player, with obvious great leadership qualities. I’ve heard Pete Horne talk about how he drives standards. But he’s not a world class centre, nothing wrong with that hes got great qualities and is a big part of Glasgow. There is big step down from Tuipulotu, Jones and Redpath and we really need a young 13 from somewhere so fingers crossed for Currie this weekend.

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          • I think McDowall has shown a lot of great qualities and his outing for Scotland in 6N showed he can play at international level. Really physical and a big boot; I hope he features in the national squad a lot more

      • No doubt Adam that Darge is the future. Badly written post by me. I wasnt suggesting we ditch anyone or that MacDowall should skipper going forward. I was just noting the large number of players in this team born after MacDowall and Fagerson and suggesting we might look back on the game in a few years time as the point at which a significant number of internationals first emerged.

  5. Irrespective of anything surely 4-0 is a prerequisite?

    Playing a team like this with a 9 on the wing (agree Dobie needs to leave Glasgow to get regular gametime at 9), really puts into question winning the 1st game.

    Townsend bewilders me

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    • This team will have more than enough to beat Canada. Canada are a shadow of the nation they used to be.
      I agree Dobie needs to leave but not sure where he goes to be first choice

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    • I don’t know I think there is a reason Franco plays Dobie on the wing a lot and I don’t think it is solely because of his favoured 6;2 split.
      Does he bring added tempo to the game operating as an extra scum half on occasion?
      Any insights Glasgow fans?

      • Dobie is quality at 9. I think you see that every time he is on. From memory it was either after Zebre or Stormers that Patterson was raving about him. Dobie is the future.

  6. Not sure I understand the philosophy of this tour. I could understand having a few new caps in the N American matches, bedded in next to experienced heads such as Gray, Jones, Tuipulotu etc but this really is a massively experimental team and Jones and Tuipulotu are being held back – for what? The matches against S American teams? If they aren’t being played in this opener, I don’t see much point in taking them. I know the US is higher in the rankings but do we really need both our first pick centres playing? And sending out so many new caps at once could lead to an uncertain performance and maybe a disastrous result which would only damage morale. I’m fascinated to see how the “new” guys do but just don’t understand this selection at all. Maybe I just need to stick to the day job ….

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  7. I wish Townsend – and for that matter Franco – would stop playing Dobie on the wing. He is a scrum half and the best one that Scotland have by a mile. It’s time that particular penny dropped or the national cause will suffer.

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    • He js probably 4th or 5th choice. His only chance is to show that versatility for a 6:2 bench split.
      Or take a chance, be bold go somewhere else where he will get regular game time.

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      • If he got regular game time he would leave the rest standing. Wee George has been great this year and has been depended upon for his goal-kicking. But his service from the base of the scrum is slow, whereas Dobie’s is lightning quick. Use it or lose it, for the boy is 23 now and has not been given a fair crack. Absolutely shocking, although I’d hate to see him leave Glasgow. He’s just too good.

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        • I can’t see him overtaking Horne for a couple of seasons unless the Hastings dynamic chnages things. Equally lots of great scrumhalfs around so I couldn’t see him getting a start for any English Prem or French teams.

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        • What? Just what? Slow service? Really no.
          The Hasting dynamic is interesting though with his goal kicking. Hopefully see a more equitable share of game time for both at 9.

      • He’s better than 4th or 5th but the problem with scrum half is that there is only one and if Horne is the starter he just doesnt get many starts. Needs a run of starts to show what he has but now looks like Warr is being given preference for Scotland.

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    • I dont understand why you start Dobie on the wing and put Steyn on the bench? Canada will fancy its chances at home against this starting team.

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    • He might have the potential to be more but the longer he goes without being a starting nine the further away that gets. He’s 23 year old 50 game pro who just hasn’t kicked on, he’s victim of the bottle kneck in Scottish rugby.
      1.White 2.Horne 3.Price 4.Warr 5.Dobie
      Price has been a great servant but I hope his time has passed unless we see a remarkable turn around. Warr is ahead as he plays week in week out for a good side in a competitive league and is a great all round 9.

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    • He’s nowhere near Horne or Vellacot. He’s decent but struggles with immediacy of service at clutch times. He’s next level down which is very decent but no way would Glasgow have won title if he had been at 9 ahead of Horne.

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  8. It’s a great opportunity for ALL the ” new starts ” v Canada BUT has this not been styled as a ” Development Tour” ? Hence of what benefit to established Internationals, Kyle Steyn and Matt Fagerson ? Unless of course they are on the Tour if things start to go wrong on the Tour ?)

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    • It’s not officially a development tour, you need some leadership and experienced players to drive standards.
      Steyn is also 30 so will be keen take every cap coming in a short career

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      • It will surely have implications on rankings if we don’t win all of the tests given standard of opposition??

    • When I looked at that team I was surprised by the lack of the established internationals.

      One of the things that the ABs and the Springboks do better than anyone else is succession planning – you bring your newbies into a team a few at a time, not enmasse. The players are coming into established patterns with experience around them. By the time Richie McCaw retired Sam Kane already had 30-40 caps from coming off the bench!

      I accept that this is a development tour, but I’d like to see a core 7-8 experienced players spread across the team, with another 2-3 on the bench. Just feel that this has swung too far the other way.

      I agree with all the chat about Dobie – reminds me a little of the early days of Chris Paterson and how Edinburgh messed him about.

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