Thursday 19 September 2019

Jones fails to make Scotland squad cut

Scotland's Huw Jones. Photo: Sportsfile
Scotland's Huw Jones. Photo: Sportsfile Sportdesk

Huw Jones is the big-name omission from Scotland's World Cup squad, while rookie centre Rory Hutchinson has also missed out on a place in Gregor Townsend's selection.

Stuart McInally has been picked as captain for their opener with Ireland in Yokohama on September 22, ahead of former skippers Greig Laidlaw and John Barclay.

But the major news surrounds head coach Townsend's decision to leave Glasgow centre Jones and his midfield rival Hutchinson out of the 31-man squad.

Jones burst onto the Test scene with 10 tries in his first 14 appearances, but in the 18 months since he scored a sensational double in the 2018 win over England his form for club and country has dropped off.

His deficiencies in defence also counted against him, while a lack of experience appears to have led to the decision to leave Hutchinson behind, despite the 23-year-old making a late bid for selection with a brace on his first start during Saturday's win in Georgia.

With fit-again Duncan Taylor and Sam Johnson the leading duo to start in the midfield, Townsend has opted to take Peter Horne - who can also fill in at 10 - and Chris Harris as cover. Adam Hastings has also been given the nod as back-up to star man Finn Russell at stand-off.

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