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Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 14:53 UK

Uncapped quartet get Scotland chance in autumn Tests


Robinson praises the qualities of his uncapped foursome

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has named four uncapped players in his 34-man squad for the autumn Tests.

Glasgow stand-off Ruaridh Jackson, Edinburgh pair Greig Laidlaw and Jim Thompson, and Northampton back Joe Ansbro are all included.

The Scots face New Zealand, South Africa and Samoa in November.

Rory Lawson and Ross Rennie have also been called up, with both returning from recent injuries, while Alastair Kellock may return to face Samoa.

Captain Kellock will miss the matches against the All Blacks and the Springboks as the lock is suffering from a knee injury.

The guys did brilliantly to win in Argentina in the summer, so they'll come into the autumn Tests with plenty of confidence

Ross Rennie

Chris Cusiter, Johnnie Beattie, Nick de Luca, Phil Godman and Simon Danielli are unavailable through injury for all three games, but Mike Blair, who has previously captained Scotland, is in the squad.

However, Robinson has not confirmed whether the Edinburgh scrum-half will lead the side for the upcoming Test series.

"I will be looking for members of our leaders' group to step up and take on greater responsibility," said Robinson.

Jackson has replaced Dan Parks, now at Cardiff, as Glasgow's regular stand-off and both will be competing with Chris Paterson for the number 10 jersey in Robinson's side.

And the 22-year-old said: "I'm really happy and excited to be involved in the autumn Tests and I can't wait for the start of the training camp.

"Obviously you want to be playing in the games, but there's great competition with Dan and Mossy.

"I just need to try my best and we'll see what happens from there."

Northampton Saints centre Joe Ansbro
Glasgow-born Ansbro also qualifies to play for England

Yorkshire-born Thompson has been capped twice for Scotland A and he and fellow 25-year-old Laidlaw have featured in the Magners League and Heineken Cup so far this season for Edinburgh.

Born in Scotland and educated in England, 24-year-old centre Ansbro qualifies to play for both nations and featured as a substitute in Northampton's win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Gloucester scrum-half Lawson, who is Thompson's cousin, has been capped 18 times and was a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup squad.

Rennie won his only cap against Ireland in 2008 and the Edinburgh flanker is eager to add to his international appearances.

"I've been really enjoying my rugby this season and just want to keep working hard at my game," he said.

"There are a number of huge fixtures coming up for both Edinburgh and the national team and, like any player, I'd love to be involved.

"The guys did brilliantly to win in Argentina in the summer, so they'll come into the autumn Tests with plenty of confidence and keen to give the fans another few results to remember."

Scotland open the series on 13 November against the All Blacks at Murrayfield and then host the Springboks at the same venue seven days later.

The series ends with Samoa's visit to Pittodrie on 27 November.

Scotland squad

Backs: J Ansbro (Northampton), M Blair (Edinburgh), B Cairns (Edinburgh), M Evans (Glasgow), A Grove (Edinburgh), R Jackson (Glasgow), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), R Lamont (Toulon), S Lamont (Scarlets), R Lawson (Gloucester), G Morrison (Glasgow), D Parks (Cardiff Blues), C Paterson (Edinburgh), H Southwell (Stade Francais), J Thompson (Edinburgh), N Walker (Ospreys)

Forwards: J Barclay (Glasgow), K Brown (Saracens), G Cross (Edinburgh), A Dickinson (Gloucester), R Ford (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow), D Hall (Glasgow), J Hamilton (Gloucester), N Hines (Leinster), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), S Lawson (Gloucester), M Low (Glasgow), A MacDonald (Edinburgh), S MacLeod (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), R Rennie (Edinburgh), A Strokosch (Gloucester), R Vernon (Glasgow).

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see also
Robinson seeks All Blacks history
29 Sep 10 |  Scottish
Paterson returns to Scotland duty
02 Aug 10 |  Scottish
Robinson praises battling Scots
21 Jun 10 |  Scottish
Argentina 9-13 Scotland
19 Jun 10 |  Scottish
Argentina 16-24 Scotland
12 Jun 10 |  Scottish

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