New blood for Scots

Scotland coach Frank Hadden will build on his side’s promising Six Nations campaign by naming 15 new caps in his joint training squad ahead of the June tour of South Africa.

The Scotland boss and A coach Steve Bates will oversee sessions between May 15 and 17 ahead of the senior trip to face the Springboks next month and the Churchill Cup in Canada for the A squad.

Hadden is planning to take 24 players on the two-Test tour to South Africa, while Bates will have a 28-strong playing party for the three A games.

Backs Nick de Luca, Matt Dey, Colin Gregor, Rory Lawson, Brendan McKerchar, Calum MacRae and Sam Pinder have all to win a first cap.

Forwards Dave Callam, Alasdair Dickinson, Andrew Kelly, Nick Lloyd, Andy Miller, Mark Rennie, Alasdair Strokosch and Fergus Thomson are also hoping to impress.

Hadden told Sapa-AFP: “Steve and I have discussed a formula so that the A team will adapt the same shape of game as the Scotland side.”

“So, if someone is required to fly from Canada to South Africa, then they will be up to speed with what’s going on.”

The Scots have a warm-up game against the Barbarians at Murrayfield on May 31, where Hadden will be assessing his attacking options.

He added: “One of the things we need to improve on is our attack and what better opportunity is there than a match against the likes of the Barbarians?”

“It may be harder in South Africa to work on our attacking strategy so we must take the opportunity against the Barbarians which, I imagine, given decent weather conditions, will mean the crowd are in for a real treat.”

“South Africa will be the ultimate challenge to measure how much progress we have actually made and the Churchill Cup is a golden chance for a number of players who may not necessarily be first-choice starts for their pro teams to show what they are capable of.”