Huw Jones left out of Scotland squad for Rugby World Cup

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 to captain the side 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 both Glasgow centre Jones and his midfield rival form Northampton, Hutchinson, out of the 31-man squad.

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

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

With fit-again Saracens centre Duncan Taylor and Sam Johnson of Warriors 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, despite his ropey showing against France in Nice three weeks ago.

But Prop Jamie Bhatti has paid the price for his failure to impress during the five-try mauling inflicted upon his side at the Allianz Riviera, with Townsend deciding to take looseheads Allan Dell and Gordon Reid, plus the tighthead pair of Willem Nel and Zander Fagerson. Simon Berghan also gets a seat on the plane based on his ability to cover both sides of the scrum.

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