Scotland's Traynor back in favour
Kyle Traynor will make his first start for Scotland, three years after his last cap, in today’s Test with Tonga in Aberdeen after Ryan Grant was ruled out with a calf injury.
When the 26-year-old Traynor left Edinburgh in the summer, after not being offered a new contract, for Championship rugby at Bristol, it appeared his international hopes were hanging by a thread.
A combination of injuries and the retirement of Allan Jacobsen this week has given loosehead prop Traynor an opportunity at Pittodrie.
Traynor made substitute appearances in Scotland head coach Andy Robinson’s first three Tests in charge, the November 2009 matches with Fiji, Australia and Argentina, but has had to wait since. His most recent match was for Bristol in the 63-7 loss at Nottingham, the week before the All Blacks clash, and he is confident of making the step up from England’s second tier to the Test arena.
Traynor’s inclusion, with uncapped Glasgow Warriors prop Gordon Reid taking his place on the bench, takes the number of changes from the Springbok defeat to six.
Hooker Scott Lawson, lock Alastair Kellock, flanker Alasdair Strokosch, scrum-half Henry Pyrgos and centre Max Evans start, with Ross Ford, Jim Hamilton, John Barclay, Mike Blair and Nick De Luca omitted.
Tonga, who beat the United States in Wales last week, cannot be underestimated and sprung the surprise of the World Cup in beating eventual finalists France.
With the future of Australia outhalf Quade Cooper still uncertain, there was some good news for the Wallabies yesterday when Will Genia signed a new three-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU). Widely regarded as one of the best scrumhalves in rugby and securing his services through the 2015 World Cup was no great surprise but still a boost to the embattled ARU.