Rugby Union: MacNaughton exchanges obscurity for centre stage on tour: Scotland to award caps on their Pacific tour despite the absence of a number of senior players

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The Independent Online
THE Scotland selectors yesterday plucked Rob MacNaughton from English obscurity - if such Northampton can be called - to be among the 30 who will go island-hopping in the Pacific in May and June, writes Steve Bale.

MacNaughton, a 27-year-old centre who has missed much of this season with a broken thumb, has represented Exiled Scots, though as he played in the team which lost to North and Midlands, this may not have been a recommendation.

Another Anglo, Alan Sharp, the prop who, but for injury, would have made his debut against Ireland in January, reappears, and there is a place for the multifarious No 8 from New Zealand, Dale McIntosh - who boasts a Scottish surname, a Welsh club and Polynesian parentage.

Andy Nicol will lead the party. Despite the absence of eight Lions and 10 others, unavailable or injured, caps will be awarded for the Tests against Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa.

SCOTLAND SQUAD (for Pacific tour, May / June) Full-backs: * K Logan (Stirling County), C Redpath (Melrose). Wings: M Appleson (London Scottish), J Kerr (Haddington), K Milligan (Stewart's Melville FP), * D Stark (Boroughmuir). Centres: I Jardine (Stirling County), R MacNaughton (Northampton), S Nichol (Selkirk), * D Wyllie (Stewart's Melville FP). Outside-halves: A Donaldson (Currie), * G Townsend (Gala). Scrum-halves: D Millard (London Scottish), * A Nicol (Dundee HSFP, capt). Props: S Ferguson (Peebles), G Isaac (Gala), A Sharp (London Scottish), G Wilson (Boroughmuir). Hookers: J Hay (Hawick), * M Scott (Edinburgh Academicals). Locks: * C Gray (Nottingham), A Macdonald (Heriot's FP), S Munro (Glasgow High/Kelvinside), R Scott (London Scottish). Flankers: K Armstrong (Jed-Forest), * C Hogg (Melrose), * D McIvor (Edinburgh Academicals), * I Smith (Gloucester, vice- capt). No 8s: D McIntosh (Pontypridd), * G Weir (Melrose).* denotes full international.

Itinerary: 22 May Fiji B (Nadi); 26 Fiji Juniors (Suva); 29 FIJI (Suva); 2 June Tonga President's XV (Nukualofa); 5 TONGA (Nukualofa); 9 Western Samoa President's XV (Apia); 12 WESTERN SAMOA (Apia).