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Itinerant Scots off to Texas for Cotter's first match in charge

SCOTLAND will play 12 full Tests next year, one more than this year, it was announced yesterday.

The list includes a four-match summer tour that will mark the start of the new head coach Vern Cotter's time in charge and during which they will travel some 17,000 miles and visit three continents.

The squad will travel to Houston, Texas, to play the USA on Saturday, June 7. One week later, they will meet Canada in Toronto. From there, they will fly to Argentina to play the Pumas on June 21, although the venue has yet to be confirmed.

They will then travel to South Africa to take on the Springboks on June 28, again at a location yet to be decided. It is understood no exiled players will be available for the South Africa game as it falls outside the approved International Rugby Board Test window.

"We're waiting confirmation from our counterparts in Argentina and South Africa as to where our Test matches will be staged," said Gavin Scott, the Scotland team manager. "I know from my own planning trip to North America that there's a lot of excitement in both the US and Canada about our Tests there."

Cotter, currently coach of Clermont Auvergne, is expected to take over the Scotland reins from Scott Johnson, on June 1, the day after the completion of the French domestic season. It has been suggested he could step into the job earlier if Clermont do not qualify for the Top 14 play-offs.

Scotland's autumn Test series will pit them against Argentina on the weekend of Saturday November 8, followed by New Zealand and Tonga over the next two weekends. The rest of the 2014 schedule of five matches at the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

It was also confirmed there is likely to be no public sale of tickets for the home Calcutta Cup match on February 8, as all allocations are likely to be taken up by priority rights groups. A waiting list is already in place for tickets for the France game on March 8. An SRU spokesman said: "The past year has seen a cumulative attendance of more than 500,000 for our top-of-the-bill Scottish rugby matches and the innovations we have introduced to reward supporters' loyalty - including our season pass - have proved very popular."

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