Townsend Makes Four Changes To His Starting XV To Face South Africa

Townsend Makes Four Changes To His Starting XV To Face South Africa

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has selected a new-look side to play South Africa at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 13 November – kick-off 1pm.

There are four personnel changes from the starting XV which defeated Australia last Sunday with two each in the forwards and backs, and two on the replacements bench from the Wallabies fixture, along with a positional change in the pack.

Stuart Hogg leads the team from full-back winning his 87th cap, which draws him level with lock Scott Murray in fourth position on the all-time Scotland capped list.

Leicester Tigers 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.

Scott comes in for his 40th Scotland cap and partners Gloucester Rugby’s Chris Harris, who played South Africa for the British & Irish Lions this summer.

Glasgow Warrior’s Rufus McLean starts on the wing after his double try-scoring debut against Tonga earlier in the 2021 Autumn Nations Series, with Worcester Warriors and Lion Duhan van der Merwe completing the back three.

Lions half-back pairing Finn Russell, also named as Vice-Captain, and Ali Price both start following their strong showing against Australia.

In the pack Edinburgh Rugby’s Nick Haining comes into the starting back-row on the blindside flank as club-mate and Vice-Captain Jamie Ritchie moves to the openside.

Glasgow Warriors Matt Fagerson continues at number eight.

Hamish Watson, himself a Lions tourist this summer, is named in the replacements.

There is a return to the front-row for Edinburgh Rugby’s Stuart McInally at hooker and he packs down with Lion Zander Fagerson and Edinburgh Rugby’s Pierre Schoeman, who earns his third start at loosehead prop.

Edinburgh Rugby’s Grant Gilchrist and Exeter Chiefs’ Sam Skinner continue their second-row partnership following their role in the win over the Wallabies on Sunday.

Townsend has added experience to the replacements with Edinburgh Rugby’s Blair Kinghorn providing cover across the backs alongside Glasgow Warriors scrum-half George Horne and Gloucester Rugby’s Adam Hastings.

Watson will bring dynamism from the bench and is joined in the forward replacements by the players who helped to see out the Wallabies victory.

Sale Sharks hooker Ewan Ashman is in line for his second cap with Glasgow Warriors props Jamie Bhatti and Oli Kebble selected alongside Edinburgh Rugby lock Jamie Hodgson.

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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