Scotland will treat A international with England like a Test match, says Peter Murchie
Scotland say they will treat Sunday’s A international against England like a Test match as they look to kick off their summer programme with a victory.
The match in Leicester is an important game in its own right but also serves as an opportunity to ‘capture’ players who may be dual qualified.
Peter Murchie the interim defence coach, played down this aspect of the match but Scotland have picked a largely experimental squad. There are 18 uncapped players and an appearance at Welford Road would tie any of them to Scotland.
“Capturing is a bit of a talking point in the international game at the moment, but I don't think about it,” said Murchie, who has joined the Scotland coaching staff to cover for Steve Tandy who is away with the Lions.
“I don't think that we have to capture this player or that - it's about whether they have earned the opportunity and do we want to get them in this environment.
“As far as I'm concerned, the capturing aspect isn't a motivation to get these guys in. A lot of them will have been in the system and in these camps for a long time and have committed to playing for Scotland.”
There are, however, a number of players whose selection came out of leftfield and who had previously been in the international set-up of other nations.
The squad, which will be led by Mike Blair, includes former England Under-20 caps Josh Bayliss and Nick Auterac, as well as Javan Sebastian and Adam McBurney, who played age-grade rugby for Wales and Ireland, respectively.
Cole Forbes, Glasgow’s former New Zealand Under-20 international, is also part of the group along with Sione Tuipulotu, the Aussie-born back who will play for the Warriors next season after a spell in the Japanese Top League.
Murchie likes what he’s seen of Tuipulotu, the centre/wing who qualifies through his Glaswegian grandmother.
“He has done really well,” said the coach. “He managed to get to Glasgow for a couple of weeks so that gave him a good head start in terms of meeting a large number of the squad.
“He managed to get a bit of training done. He is a really nice bloke and he has fitted in really well.
“He has come off the back of the Japanese season so he has had a fair bit of game time and he is fit. He is quick, has very good feet and is powerful. He is versatile and can play across the backline.”
Scotland plan to reduce their 37-man squad to around 29 for the second part of their summer schedule which will see them travel to eastern Europe to play Romania on July 7 and Georgia on July 14.
For now, the focus is solely on the A game with England.
“We’re treating it like a Test week in terms of our build-up,” said Murchie. “It’s been a long time since the A side had a fixture, so it’s great to have these fixtures back, and obviously a game against England is always a big occasion.”
It will be made even more special by the presence of fans, with Murchie expecting around 6,000 at Welford Road.