September 1, 2015 / 3:13 PM / 2 years ago

Rugby-Scotland-South African Strauss is Scottish surprise

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Uncapped backrower Josh Strauss, who will qualify to represent Scotland on residential grounds on Sept. 19, a day after the Rugby World Cup begins, was the surprise name in coach Vern Cotter's 31-man squad on Tuesday.

Strauss is joined by another South African-born player in Edinburgh prop Willem Nel, who has won two caps, but there was no place for the latest "Kilted Kiwi" Hugh Blake.

Scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw captains a squad that has a total of 651 caps with three members -- Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and Sean Lamont -- due to play in their third World Cup.

Scotland face France in Paris on Saturday in their final warm-up match before heading into the tournament where they will play South Africa, Samoa, Japan and the United States in Pool B.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: Alasdair Dickinson, Ryan Grant, Gordon Reid, Willem Nel, Jon Welsh, Fraser Brown, Ross Ford, Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Tim Swinson, David Denton, John Hardie, Josh Strauss, Alasdair Strokosch, Ryan Wilson.

Backs: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Greig Laidlaw (captain), Henry Pyrgos, Finn Russell, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett, Peter Horne, Matt Scott, Richie Vernon, Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser, Stuart Hogg. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Clare Fallon)

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