Luke Crosbie will finally be named as the captain of Scotland’s team after a yearlong gap, as Gregor Townsend named a strong group for the A game against Chile.
It had been hoped that the Edinburgh flanker would take over the captaincy role against England in June, but this game was postponed due to Covid. A total of 17 of the 23 players have experience playing test rugby.
Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, and George Horne are all back in the Scotland team after missing out on the Six Nations. Also included are former Glasgow School pupils Murphy Walker and Oliver Smith. Four uncapped players are in the squad, including Ben Muncaster and Matt Currie of Edinburgh.
Scotland putting their game in place
The goal of the Scotland team is to win the game. According to Townsend, the objective is to create an 80-minute game that will allow his players to develop their skills. Then, they will see how they can go about playing together. Some players have previously played for the national team, and some are new to the position.
Townsend praised the patience shown by the Scottish management team in allowing Crosbie to play for his country.
“A year ago he was due to be captain in our ‘A’ game against England which unfortunately got cancelled. So we thought highly of him then; we think very highly of him now,” said the coach.
Townsend commends the way Crosbie plays and trains. He also said that he is a leader who can inspire his team and improve their performance. Crosbie was able to captain the Edinburgh team this season after he was injured during the Six Nations. He came back and played well.
Very close to being World Cup team
This game was arranged to allow Chile to prepare for their upcoming World Cup qualifier against the US. According to Townsend, the country has a high standard and is close to being a full-time team at the tournament. They have already beaten Canada and Russia, and they are currently in the process of playing against the US.
Conforming to Townsend, Chile’s players are highly skilled and have participated in various professional tournaments. They beat a team from Argentina and also played some excellent rugby.
“A lot of their players are involved in the South American professional championship – their team which represents Chile beat the Jaguares, the Argentinian professional side, and played some really good rugby,” added Townsend.
Townsend expects the team to be very physical, and they will be able to make Scotland’s defence look vulnerable. As stated by the coach, they will also look to the opponent’s jackal. This will be similar to what they will be doing against Argentina in the coming weeks.
The Scottish coach was also pleased to learn that Mark Dodson, the chief executive of Murrayfield, had agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the organization until 2025. He praised the support that Mark has shown for both the national team and the professional teams.
The 49-year-old coach said that he and Dodson share the same goal of making the professional teams of Scotland successful. He also noted that they don’t always agree on everything but can work together to achieve the organization’s goals.
“He’ll be driving that, I’m sure, over the next two years,” Townsend said.