Skinner named in Scotland squad
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs forward Sam Skinner has been named in Scotland's 37-man squad for Test matches against England A, Romania and Georgia this summer.
The 26-year-old, who has won 12 Test caps, has been named by assistant coach Mike Blair, who will take interim charge with head coach Gregor Townsend part of the British and Irish Lions' staff for the tour of South Africa.
Eight Scotland players - including skipper Stuart Hogg - are also unavailable because of Lions duty. Edinburgh's Jamie Ritchie - one of six players in the squad with more than 20 caps - will captain Scotland.
"It's taken a fair bit of time, and as an interim head coach I'm starting to realise the amount of work that Gregor does," said Blair, who has named 17 uncapped players in his squad.
"I'm really happy with the squad we've managed to put together. We're really excited by the amount of young players coming through. To get eight players on the Lions tour is fantastic and they've thoroughly deserved that.
"The knock-on effect is we get the chance to look at the players below them at the moment and get them pushing for places, so when the Lions come back there's real competition going again."
Of the uncapped players, Glasgow Warriors quartet Rory Darge, Jamie Dobie, Rufus McLean and Ross Thompson, Edinburgh pair Luke Crosbie and Charlie Shiel, as well as Bath's Josh Bayliss and Ewan Ashman of Sale Sharks have previously received a Scotland call-up.
The newcomers are Glasgow trio Sione Tuipulotu, Kiran McDonald and Cole Forbes, Jack Blain and Jamie Hodgson of Edinburgh, Northampton Saints' Nick Auterac, Javan Sebastian of Scarlets, Robin Hislop of Doncaster Knights, and Leicester Tigers' Cameron Henderson.
The 37-man squad will meet 12 days prior to the England A away game on June 27, with a smaller pool then travelling to face Romania and Georgia on July 10 and 17 respectively.
Blair also confirmed that some experienced players such as Fraser Brown, Stuart McInally and Exeter's Jonny Gray have been given the summer off after a long season.
Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Nick Auterac (Northampton Saints), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Jamie Bhatti (Bath), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), David Cherry (Edinburgh), Alex Craig (Gloucester), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers), Robin Hislop (Doncaster Knights), Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh), Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors), Kiran McDonald (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Javan Sebastian (Scarlets), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors).
Backs: Jack Blain (Edinburgh), Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors), Cole Forbes (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), James Lang (Harlequins), Rufus McLean (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Shiel (Edinburgh), Scott Steele (Harlequins), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Warriors), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors).