Rugby

Autumn internationals: Scotland call up Sharks’ Dylan Richardson from South Africa

Dylan Richardson played for the Sharks against the touring British and Irish Lions in July

Scotland have selected South Africa-born Sharks back-row Dylan Richardson for a two-day training camp before their first autumn international.

The 22-year-old has spent his entire career at the Durban-based franchise, but qualifies for Scotland through his father.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has called up 14 uncapped players in total.

Scotland begin their autumn programme against Tonga at Murrayfield on Saturday, 30 October.

The Test falls outside World Rugby’s international window, so Scotland players based in England in France will not feature as their clubs are under no obligation to release them.

Captain Stuart Hogg, front-line fly-halves Finn Russell and Adam Hastings, lock Jonny Gray, prop Rory Sutherland and wing Duhan van der Merwe will be among those unavailable.

The Scots host Australia, world champions South Africa and Japan on consecutive weekends with all players at Townsend’s disposal.

The initial camp, which convenes on Sunday, features three British and Irish Lions in scrum-half Ali Price, flanker Hamish Watson and prop Zander Fagerson, each of whom toured South Africa during the summer.

Nineteen members of the squad were due to embark on a three-match summer programme which was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Among the new faces, South Africa-born Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman has completed his residency period to qualify for Scotland, and along with Richardson, could face the country of his birth in November.

The latter, whose father was born in Edinburgh, has been capped by South Africa at Under-20 level and played against the touring Lions in July. He can be deployed at hooker as well as in the back-row.

Recent Glasgow signing Sione Tuipulotu could make his Scotland debut against Tonga, where his father is from.

Warriors team-mate Rory Darge has made a hugely impressive start to the campaign and is also in line for a Test bow, alongside fellow Glasgow men Cole Forbes, Rufus McLean, Jamie Dobie and Ross Thompson.

Edinburgh’s Luke Crosbie, Jamie Hodgson, Matt Currie, Charlie Savala, Marshall Sykes and Jack Blain are also vying for first international outings.

“With four tough Test matches ahead of us it is important we bring players together early, connect with them as coaches and enable them to grow as a group before the campaign gets under way,” said Townsend.

“We are pleased with the depth we are able to call upon to make up this training squad and it provides a genuine opportunity for players to put their hand up for selection to the full Autumn Nations Series squad.”

Scotland squad

Forwards: Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Luke Crosbie, Rory Darge, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Nick Haining, Rob Harley, Jamie Hodgson, Oli Kebble, Murray McCallum, Stuart McInally, Dylan Richardson, Jamie Ritchie, Pierre Schoeman, Marshall Sykes, George Turner.

Backs: Mark Bennett, Jack Blain, Matt Currie, Jamie Dobie, Cole Forbes, Darcy Graham, George Horne, Damien Hoyland, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn, James Lang, Rufus McLean, Ali Price, Charlie Savala, Kyle Steyn, Ross Thompson, Sione Tuipulotu.

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