Five players released from Scotland’s summer tour squad

Damien Hoyland, Matt Currie, Ben Muncaster, Jamie Hodgson and Johnny Matthews are all returning home

Jamie Hodgson is one of five players released from Scotland's summer tour squad. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Jamie Hodgson is one of five players released from Scotland's summer tour squad. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND have released five fringe players from the 39-strong summer tour squad which flew out to South America last week.

Winger Damien Hoyland, who scored a hat-trick in the team’s non-cap tour opener against Chile, is heading back to Scotland, along with Edinburgh team-mates Ben Muncaster (back-row), Matt Currie (centre) and Jamie Hodgson (second-row), as well as Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews.

These players have been released as focus turns to the bread and butter of this expedition, which is the three-match Test series against Argentina. kicking off in JuJuy on Saturday evening.


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About David Barnes 2991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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.

18 Comments

  1. With regard to whether it is a wise move to bring the 5 players back if they have been informed that they are surplus to requirements.
    It’s one thing to say OK I’m for home if your in the 6Nations but if you are on another Continent and in this day and age of Wuhan Lurgy restrictions just think of the potential problem of someone getting tested positive and then the contacts are in the bin as well, perhaps it is a false economy.
    Another aspect is with 3 tests in a 2 week period and likely to be somewhat attritional as tours to Argentina have been in the past if I was in charge I would argue to keep the squad together.
    Apart from anything else of the five the new guys to the level might be quite happy to get the experience even if they are only standing behind the tackle bag, considering the two possibilities I’ve made they might consider there was still a chance of getting on the bench if nothing else.

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  2. It is harsh on Hoyland after his hat trick of tries to be fair but the other ones I’m not so bothered about. This is about getting players gelling who are likely to be in or around the starting xv, and also those with longer term prospects in the test team.

    As Iain Milne, whose word I’ll respect as a former international, says, there’s no point being there if you’re not in any chance of playing. You’d be as well getting home to your families and resting up for the summer and then coming back with a point to prove next season.

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  3. Why is everyone assuming it’s a financial decision. I know as a player who played at a reasonable standard if I knew I wasn’t going to be involved in the match day squad I’d want to go home. The coaches are being honest with these players, saying to them you’re no longer required.

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  4. I think people are missing the point. Treating players fairly is far less important than saving money in order to pay Mr Dodson a big bonus the next time he achieves absolutely nothing.

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    • As I said the coaches are be honest with the players. Not required so go home. If I wasn’t required I wouldn’t want to hang around holding tackle bags, I know my contemporaries would have felt the same.

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      • You don’t think young players can learn from sticking around?

        You think coaches can predict injuries/covid so well that they know players won’t be required?

  5. Seems like false economy to me. Surely the benefits of having the younger guy with the squad would be worth the cost.

  6. What kind of message does this send to the likes of Damien Hoyland?
    3 tries in a single game and his reward is a ticket home, he should have been given proper test time in these Argentina matches to establish himself as a serious back 3 option for Scotland. Doesnt make any sense.

    I hate to be pessimistic but I am depressed by the fact Hastings isn’t available as it means Kinghorn is gonna start most of these tests. No harm to the lad he has looked pretty good for Edinburgh overall but do not believe for a moment he is going to be the long-term answer at fly half at test level- I am afraid I just don’t see it

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  7. The cost implications of retaining 5 players who are now in Argentina seems odd , maybe 3 hotel rooms for 3 weeks plus wages, not exactly going to bankrupt the SRU. At least hold on to them till the 1st test is over, it’s also scant reward to Hoyland and for my money Mathews is the form Hooker in Scotland at the moment, and in player development its a good investment in Muncaster just to be there, would show he was on the radar of the coach.

  8. I am still baffled by these decisions.

    A guy like Hoyland clearly in form…Muncaster a coming player with bags of confidence.

    What message are we sending out to young players? Even if they are around for the test matches as Water Carriers…its not just about playing.

    If not now…then when.

    It is tiresome being a Scotland fan.

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  9. If as Peter D suggests it is a financial decision the illogicality of the situation is that they are looking at the cost of 3 weeks upkeep, the cost of getting them there and back obviously remains the same.
    It also occurs to me that as John commented the experience gained especially for the younger players would outweigh the expenditure, and as for man management of a player coming back from injury and with a hat trick of tries, albeit against Chile, Hoyland must be feeling ‘what’s the point’.
    The SRU is not using its financial resources such as they are to the primary area that brings home the Bacon, it appears that they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing, if you get my drift.
    If the SRU can’t find the funding to keep 5 players on tour you have to ask how they justify expenditure in areas that are frankly non productive. There are no points for gesture policies and the SRU has to cut its cloth appropriately.
    Ps: good luck for the U20’s this evening against Italy their half backs and the full back looked a bit of a handful but the second half against Wales showed improvement and hopefully the lads will end the loosing streak, a good win in a close game will do them the power of good.

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  10. Simply appears a money (SRU) driven decision based on here and now with no real eye on the future…. I get as frustrated as others with the Toonie tombola, but on this occasion I doubt he had any choice re numbers. Also, I admit I don’t know too much about Hodgson and Young, but thought that Hodgson was further up the pecking order yet is going home? Agree that it’s really harsh on Hoyland, but it’s the younger players coming home that’s really frustrating.

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    • Disappointing to say the very least. Surely you’d want them around the professional set up, for the simple fact that they can train with the team, build bonds for the future and also act as possible replacements against a physical argentine side? Scottish rugby and logic man…

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  11. Why bother sending 5 guys home? Whatever happens it’ll be a real blow for them, surely the next 3 weeks would be (at the least) very beneficial…….especially for young men like Currie and Muncaster

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  12. I’m an ex. player who played at a decent level. If I’d scored three tries in a full on warm up match for a tour, I’d be well piss-d off when handed a ticket home.
    I’d be looking at my priorities going forward, and most likely tackle bag fodder for future squads wouldn’t be on my shortlist?

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  13. Hoyland has played well and should consider himself pretty unlucky to be ‘released’. But for me the even bigger disappointment is Muncaster being sent home after the superb season he’s had. I really did think he might been in with a shout for inclusion in one of the matchday 23s – and being around the set-up is exactly the kind of experience and encouragement the young man needs to take another big step forward. Scotland have missed his kind of dynamism and controlled aggression of late and I therefore believe that the early bath is a mistake. But then when was the last time I had any confidence in Townsend’s abilities as a selector? So frustrating!

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  14. Seems harsh on Hoyland. Doesn’t really create an incentive to players if you play well, score a hat trick then get cut from the squad. Bit reminiscent of bad Lions tours where form is not rewarded – tour top try scorer Tommy Seymour getting nowhere near the test squad springs to mind.

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  15. Hooker is a specialised position. With Ireland losing 2 loose heads in a warm up and presumably flying someone out, why not keep JM? All others have positions covered and as a latecomer to this level really on the up could have particularly benefitted from exposure to a test series. One injury and he’s back out in a way none the rest are.

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