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Townsend makes four changes to his Scotland team to face the Boks

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

Gregor Townsend has named a Scotland team to face the Springboks this Saturday that shows four changes from the XV that edged out the Wallabies in last Sunday’s Autumn Nations Series second round match in Edinburgh. Stuart Hogg leads the team from full-back, winning his 87th cap to draw him level with lock Scott Murray in fourth position on the all-time Scotland capped list.


Centre Matt Scott earns his first Scotland start since June 2017 when he played against Italy in Singapore in Gregor Townsend’s first match as head coach. He comes in for Sam Johnson in an Autumn Nations backline where the second Scotland alteration sees Rufus McLean come in on the wing for Darcy Graham.

In the pack, Nick Haining comes into the starting back row on the blindside flanker with Jamie Ritchie moving to the openside where Hamish Watson drops out. There is also a return to the front row for Stuart McInally at hooker.

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Finn Russell on fighting water boys, facing the Springboks and expensive watches
Video Spacer
Finn Russell on fighting water boys, facing the Springboks and expensive watches

Townsend said: “Sunday’s result against Australia was another positive step in the evolution of this team, but there is more to come from this group and we will have to raise our level of performance on Saturday against the world champions.

“We know what to expect from the Springboks in how they play and the physicality they will bring across the team. We have therefore selected a side that we believe can both meet that challenge and give us the platform to impose our game on the opposition. It should be a full-blooded contest and will require an intensity and focus across our 23-man squad for the full 80 minutes.”

SCOTLAND (vs Springboks, Saturday)
15. Stuart Hogg – Exeter Chiefs – (Captain) – 86 caps
14.  Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – 1 cap
13. Chris Harris – Gloucester Rugby – 29 caps
12. Matt Scott – Leicester Tigers – 39 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe – Worcester Warriors – 11 caps
10. Finn Russell – Racing 92 – (Vice-Captain) – 56 caps
9. Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors – 44 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – 2 caps
2. Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 41 caps
3. Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 40 caps
4. Sam Skinner – Exeter Chiefs – 13 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby – 46 caps
6. Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 9 caps
7. Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby – (Vice-Captain) – 29 caps
8. Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 15 caps
16. Ewan Ashman – Sale Sharks – 1 cap
17. Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 20 caps
18. Oli Kebble – Glasgow Warriors – 10 caps
19. Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby – 2 caps
20. Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 43 caps
21. George Horne – Glasgow Warriors – 15 caps
22. Adam Hastings – Gloucester Rugby – 24 caps
23. Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 26 caps



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