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Four Premiership players named as Scotland make six XV changes

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend has unveiled a Scotland team showing six changes to take on Fiji this Saturday at BT Murrayfield a week after their agonising one-point loss to Australia in their Autumn Nations Series opener. The Scots had chosen an all-local based match day 23 as that game against the Wallabies took place outside the player release window.

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With players based outside of Scotland now available and with last weekend’s starting second row Sam Skinner ruled out of the remainder of the series with a foot injury, Townsend has included four Gallagher Premiership players in the starting team while his bench sees three English-based players and one Irish-based player named.

All four of the new faces from the Premiership come in the back division. Scotland’s record try-scorer Stuart Hogg of Exeter makes a first appearance of the season at full-back in place of Ollie Smith and Gloucester’s Adam Hastings returns to feature at fly-off with Blair Kinghorn benched.

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A new centre partnership sees Gloucester’s Chris Harris, who is named as a vice-captain, link up with Bath’s Cameron Redpath, who is earning a first cap at BT Murrayfield following two away game appearances.

Meanwhile, the pack has two changes with Richie Gray returning to the international fold for a first start since 2017 in place of the injured Skinner and George Turner coming in at hooker for Dave Cherry, who has been replaced in the squad by Fraser Brown after picking up a hamstring injury in training.

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Rookie tighthead prop Murphy Walker is poised for a Test debut from a bench that includes the English-based Ewan Ashman of Sale, Exeter’s Jonny Gray and London Irish’s Ben While along with recent Ulster signing Rory Sutherland. Jack Dempsey, the Australian who played off the bench for the first time for Scotland last weekend, is the only sub named again amongst this weekend’s much-changed replacements.

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Scotland (vs Fiji, Saturday)
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 93 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 30 caps
13. Chris Harris – Vice Captain – (Gloucester Rugby) 36 caps
12. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 2 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 20 caps
10. Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby) 26 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 55 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 13 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 51 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 67 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist – Vice Captain – (Edinburgh Rugby) 56 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie – Captain – (Edinburgh Rugby) 33 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 52 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps

Replacements
16. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 4 caps
17. Rory Sutherland (Ulster Rugby) 20 caps
18. Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
19. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 69 caps
20. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap
21. Ben White (London Irish) 6 caps
22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 35 caps
23. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps

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RUGBYPASS+ Saracens big-guns look to assert themselves in the post-Eddie Jones era Saracens big-guns look to assert themselves in the post-Eddie Jones era
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