Five uncapped players in Scotland training squad for autumn Tests
Last Updated: 22/10/13 5:36pm
Scott Johnson: Picked squad with one eye on the 2015 World Cup
Scotland have named five uncapped players in their training squad ahead of the autumn internationals.
Glasgow trio Mark Bennett, Jonny Gray and Chris Fusaro have earned their first call-ups along with London Irish back-rowers Kieran Low and Blair Cowan.
Head coach Scott Johnson has assembled a 41-man party for his training camp ahead of next month's Tests against Japan, South Africa and Australia.
British and Irish Lions stars Ross Ford and Chris Cusiter, and John Barclay have all been recalled after missing the summer tour of South Africa through injury.
Glasgow have contributed no fewer than 18 players to the squad and there are 10 from Edinburgh, but Lions full-back Stuart Hogg has been ruled out after undergoing wrist surgery.
"This squad is about getting the job right for our upcoming Test matches but it's also about the next 24 months as we build towards Rugby World Cup 2015," said Johnson.
"This squad is about getting the job right for our upcoming Test matches but it's also about the next 24 months as we build towards Rugby World Cup 2015."
"We have to make sure, too, that our young players, who have the ability to play international footy, get the mileage on the clock ahead of the World Cup.
"I've been impressed with what I've seen from Mark Bennett and Jonny Gray. They've been consistent, which is often a challenge for younger players, and they've shown the resolve to get better.
"Low is a good, young player who is athletic and big enough to play at lock or blindside and we don't have many players who can do that.
"We know Ross Rennie is coming back to fitness and Chris Fusaro is an out and out No 7. Cowan is a good, tough, energetic player who can play in every back-row position."
Johnson has also handed recalls to Nick De Luca and Max Evans, who were both rested from the summer quadrangular tournament in South Africa.
"We gave them time off to have a proper off season and it's now important for us to see where they are," added Johnson.
He added: "We've chosen a large squad as we want everyone to be clear of our immediate campaign and our journey towards 2015."
Backs: M Bennett, C Cusiter, N De Luca, A Dunbar, M Evans, T Heathcote, R Jackson, S Lamont, G Laidlaw, S Maitland, H Pyrgos, M Scott, T Seymour, D Taylor, G Tonks, T Visser, D Weir
Forwards: J Barclay, J Beattie, K Brown, B Cowan, G Cross, D Denton, A Dickinson, R Ford, C Fusaro, G Gilchrist, R Grant, J Gray, R Gray, J Hamilton, R Harley, A Kellock, S Lawson, K Low, M Low, P MacArthur, E Murray, A Strokosch, T Swinson, J Welsh.