Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend. Photo: Reuters/Craig Brough

EDINBURGH – Scotland coach Gregor Townsend on Wednesday named the uncapped trio of Sam Skinner, Sam Johnson and Blade Thomson in his 40-strong Scotland squad for the autumn Tests.

Exeter second-rower Skinner is a former England youth international while Scarlets number eight Thomson has represented New Zealand's Under-20s.

They join Glasgow centre Johnson in the 40-man group named ahead of next month's clash with Wales in Cardiff and three Murrayfield Tests against Fiji, South Africa and Argentina.

Scotland's most-capped player Ross Ford has won a recall as he looks to build on his 110 appearances for the national team.

But Stuart Hogg, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Duncan Taylor and Tim Swinson miss out through injury.

“We now begin the last 12 months of our preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019 with four Test matches in four weeks, a similar challenge to the one we'll face in Japan,” said Townsend.

“We've named a 40-man group for this campaign, which highlights the quality of player that is now available to us and the competition for places.”

Forwards (22): 

Alex Allan, Simon Berghan, Magnus Bradbury, Fraser Brown, Allan Dell,  David Denton, Matt Fagerson, Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Murray McCallum, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Gordon Reid, Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner, Blade Thomson, Ben Toolis, George Turner, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson

Backs (18): 

Alex Dunbar, Dougie Fife, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Pete Horne,Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Lee Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Byron McGuigan, Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell, Matt Scott, Tommy Seymour

Players not considered due to injury: 

John Barclay, Mark Bennett, Lewis Carmichael, Cornell du Preez, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Stuart Hogg, Tim Swinson, Duncan Taylor.

Fixtures: 

Nov 3: Wales v Scotland
Nov 10: Scotland v Fiji
Nov 17: Scotland v South Africa
Nov 24: Scotland v Argentina

Agence France-Presse (AFP)