Linlithgow Palace hosts Scots for reveal of Rugby World Cup squad

Head coach Gregor Townsend and his squad (Pic by Michael Gillen)
Head coach Gregor Townsend and his squad (Pic by Michael Gillen)

Linlithgow Palace was the venue on Tuesday as Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend announced his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad.

The Scotland party will travel to Japan on Monday following Friday evening’s final warm-up match against the Georgians at BT Murrayfield.

Townsend has gone for a 17-14 forwards/backs split with Glasgow flanker Ryan Wilson getting the nod after Edinburgh back-rower Magnus Bradbury failed to recover in time from a rib injury.

Hooker Stuart McInally will captain the side in Japan, surrounded by an experienced leadership group which contains former skippers John Barclay, Greig Laidlaw and star stand-off Finn Russell.

But centre Rory Hutchinson (23) was left out which came as a major surprise to many.

Instead, Townsend has opted for the experience of Pete Horne, who can also play stand-off. And 2018 Calcutta

Cup hero Huw Jones is also left out of the squad.

Townsend said: “Rory came very close, both him and Huw were debated for a long while on the flight back from Georgia and at the airport and during subsequent conversations with the coaches.

“Rory did very well on Saturday night (when Scotland beat Georgia 44-10 in their final World Cup warm up fixture), he was comfortable on the ball but just missed out as he’s not had enough international experience, especially against some top teams.

“He came off the bench in both France games and started against Georgia but we know we have players who have performed really well for Scotland in the bigger games.

“Rory and Huw are similar in terms of not having enough games at international level to force their way into the squad.”