Van der Merwe one of 14 stars selected by Scotland

Van der Merwe one of 14 stars selected by Scotland

Uncapped winger Duhan van der Merwe has been named in the Scotland squad for the upcoming Autumn Internationals as Gregor Townsend selects 14 Edinburgh stars in his 40-man squad.

The South African-born winger – who now qualifies for Scotland through residency – will be hoping to make his international debut as Gregor Townsend’s squad kick-off their Autumn campaign against Georgia at BT Murrayfield on Friday 23 October.

The squad selection also sees Damian Hoyland return to international rugby following an impressive start to the new campaign, with the back-three playmaker’s last Scotland appearance coming against Fiji in June 2017.

There is also an international recall for Jamie Bhatti, with the loosehead featuring from the bench in Saturday night’s Guinness PRO14 defeat to Munster.

Bhatti is one of 10 Edinburgh forwards named in the squad as Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist, Nick Haining, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Rory Sutherland, Ben Toolis and Hamish Watson are all included in Townsend’s set-up.

Meanwhile in the backs, Darcy Graham and Blair Kinghorn join the aforementioned pair of Hoyland and Van der Merwe, making it 14 Edinburgh players involved in this year’s Autumn International squad.

On his selection, Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general.

“There was a strong feeling that we were growing as a team during the Six Nations earlier this year, making progress from game-to-game as well as building closer bonds within the squad. Our aim is to keep this momentum going as we take on Georgia and Wales before competing in the Autumn Nations Cup in November.

“The squad we have selected is formed by the majority of the players we worked with in the Six Nations alongside players who have grabbed their opportunity in the past few weeks and have been in form for their respective teams.

“Given the lack of games since March, there will be opportunities for players out-with the squad to break into our group over the next few weeks, but for now the focus is on this group that will be in camp from tomorrow. It will be great to see some familiar faces, welcome a few back into our squad and also introduce some new players to Test match rugby."

Scotland begin their autumn test matches at BT Murrayfield against Georgia on Friday 23 October before facing Wales in Llanelli on 31 October in the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations fixture.

The newly formed Autumn Nations Cup begins in November with Scotland in Pool B alongside France and Fiji who they will play at BT Murrayfield as well as an away test match against Italy.


FORWARDS (23)

Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps
Blair Cowan (London Irish) – 17 caps
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps

Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors) – 7 caps

Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 42 caps
Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 57 caps
Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps
Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 3 caps
Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) - uncapped
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 37 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 38 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 7 caps
Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 5 caps
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 32 caps

BACKS (17)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 18 caps
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) CAPTAIN – 76 caps
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 21 caps
James Lang (Harlequins) – 2 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 48 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 32 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 49 caps
Scott Steele (Harlequins) - uncapped

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