Scotland: Gregor Townsend calls up 10 new caps for autumn Tests

John Barclay will captain Scotland for the autumn internationals
Barclay has been named captain again, with Greig Laidlaw absent through injury

Sale winger Byron McGuigan and Glasgow forwards Scott Cummings and Jamie Bhatti are among 10 uncapped players in Scotland's squad for the autumn Tests.

John Barclay has been named captain for the home games against Samoa, New Zealand and Australia next month.

The Scarlets flanker, 31, has missed the past four matches for his club as he recovered from a head knock.

Saracens' Duncan Taylor and Glasgow's Adam Ashe are added to a long list of players missing through injury.

The duo, hurt in European action at the weekend, join notable absentees Greig Laidlaw, Richie Gray, Sean Maitland, Matt Scott, Fraser Brown and Allan Dell on the sidelines.

John Hardie is not considered for selection pending an internal investigation into alleged cocaine abuse and fellow Edinburgh back-row Magnus Bradbury is also missing as he serves a club suspension after picking up a head injury on a night out.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend
Townsend is preparing for his first home matches as head coach

Head coach Gregor Townsend, taking charge on home soil for the first time, will cast his eye over 36 players when the squad assembles next week but stressed that it was not a time for experimentation.

"There are 10 uncapped players - five of them have been involved with the squad before, but we wanted to choose this squad of form," he said.

"There are players who have done really well for Scotland in the past and those who have impressed us on tour but also we want players who are working hard or on form.

"We'll be looking to play our best team in all three games. Now is not the time to try things out we are not sure about."

Edinburgh quartet Phil Burleigh, Nathan Fowles, Jamie Ritchie and Darryl Marfo are also in the group of uncapped players looking to impress.

Newcastle Falcons centre Chris Harris, Leicester Tigers back-row Luke Hamilton and Glasgow hooker George Turner are the others.

Bhatti, Burleigh, Cummings and Ritchie were in Townsend's summer camp in August, while Turner was on the June tour but did not play in the wins over Italy and Australia or the loss to Fiji.

Byron McGuigan
McGuigan, a former Glasgow Warrior, is enjoying a good start to the season at Sale

South Africa-born McGuigan, 28, is a former Scotland Sevens international, with one A cap from 2014. He is joint top try-scorer in this season's English Premiership.

Prop Marfo, 26, is eligible through his mother, while Harris, also 26, qualifies through his grandmother.

Hamilton, 25, is a former Wales U20 international, while Fowles, 24, has played for England at the same level.

Scotland's 2017 Autumn Series

  • Saturday 11 November: Scotland v Samoa, Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 14.30 GMT), live on BBC 1
  • Saturday 18 November: Scotland v New Zealand, Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 17.15 GMT), live on BBC 2
  • Saturday 25 November: Scotland v Australia, Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 14.30 GMT), live on BBC 1

Full-back Stuart Hogg and wing Tommy Seymour return, having missed the summer Tests because of British and Irish Lions selection, while centre Huw Jones and hooker Stuart McInally are also back after injury.

Harlequins' Tim Visser and fellow winger Damien Hoyland, of Edinburgh, are not selected.

Barclay, who took over as captain from the injured Laidlaw midway through this year's Six Nations campaign, also led Scotland on their summer tour when Laidlaw was with the British and Irish Lions.

The back-rower is back in training after seeing a specialist but was not selected by Scarlets at the weekend.

Scotland squad

Forwards: Berghen (Edinburgh), Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Barclay (Scarlets), Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Du Preez (Edinburgh), Z Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Ford (Edinburgh), Gilchrist (Edinburgh), J Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), Marfo (Edinburgh), McInally (Edinburgh), Nel (Edinburgh), Ritchie (Edinburgh), Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Toolis (Edinburgh), Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Watson (Edinburgh).

Backs: Burleigh (Edinburgh), Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Fife (Scotland 7s), Fowles (Edinburgh), Harris (Newcastle Falcons), Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), L Jones (Glasgow Warriors), H Jones (Stormers), McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Price (Glasgow Warriors), Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Seymour (Glasgow Warriors).

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