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McInally proud to lead Scotland, but Jones is left out by Townsend

Big moment: Stuart McInally has been handed the armband
Big moment: Stuart McInally has been handed the armband

By Duncan Bech

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 31-man selection.

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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 out both Glasgow centre Jones and Hutchinson, his midfield rival from Northampton.

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.

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.

New skipper McInally said: "It's a very proud moment. I ended up missing the last World Cup through injury, so this makes it all the sweeter. The focus is firmly on Georgia this Friday and putting in a good performance."

Scotland: Forwards: John Barclay (Edinburgh), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (London Irish), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart McInally (capt) (Edinburgh), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).

Backs: Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens).

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