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Brown named as Scotland captain and Van der Merwe to debut in warm-up match 

Brown named as Scotland captain and Van der Merwe to debut in warm-up match 

Brown named as Scotland captain and Van der Merwe to debut in warm-up match 

Guinness 6 Nations Round 4, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland 8/3/2020 Scotland vs France Scotland's Fraser Brown with Charles Ollivon and Virimi Vakatawa of France Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Duhan van der Merwe will make his Scotland debut, while Fraser Brown will captain his country for the first time as Gregor Townsend named his side to face Georgia in their autumn warm-up match.

Ahead of a trip to Cardiff to face Wales in their Round 5 match of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations on Super Saturday, Scotland square off with the Georgians at BT Murrayfield on Friday evening, with both sides also preparing for the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

Electric Edinburgh winger Van der Merwe earns his first cap since qualifying on residency grounds, while Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble could do the same from the bench.

Hooker Brown will represent his country for the 51st time but this is the first occasion he has donned the skipper’s armband, with scrum-half Ali Price and back-rower Jamie Ritchie named as vice-captains.

No.8 Matt Fagerson makes his first Scotland appearance since August 2019, inside centre James Lang will earn a third cap – a first since the summer of 2018 – and fly-half Finn Russell is back in the fold on the replacements’ bench.

“It’s been great to have the players back in camp and as coaches, we’ve really enjoyed working with them again after the enforced break due to Covid-19,” said head coach Townsend.

“As we start our autumn series, the game against Georgia provides a real test as a first-up match and we have taken the opportunity to select a side that reflects where our players are in terms of their game time this season, their current form, as well as the contributions they made during the Six Nations at the start of the year.”

Scotland won two and lost two of their four Guinness Six Nations matches earlier this year and still have a mathematical chance of winning the Championship for the first time since 1999, depending on the result of Ireland v Italy this weekend.

And as they gear up for that Round 5 clash with Wales in ten days’ time, Townsend is excited to see how his first-time captain fares against Georgia.

“It is a testament to the professionalism and hard work Fraser [Brown] has given to Scotland in recent years that we have selected him as the captain and he will be well supported by Jamie and Ali, who have grown as leaders over the past couple of seasons,” added Townsend.

“Georgia have a new coaching group in place and will want to put down a marker for their own campaign so we have picked as strong a squad as possible to go up against what will be a very physical and motivated opponent.”

Georgia will be keen to show what they can do as they prepare to take part in the Autumn Nations Cup, which will see them take on England, Wales and Ireland in Group A.

Scotland are up against France, Italy and Fiji in Group B before the Finals weekend, which will see Georgia play a ‘home’ match at BT Murrayfield.

Scotland team to play Georgia at BT Murrayfield, Friday 23 October (kick-off 7:30pm) 

15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 21 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 18 caps
12. James Lang (Harlequins) – 2 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – Uncapped
10. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 32 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
2. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – CAPTAIN – 50 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps
4. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
5. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 32 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 8 caps

16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 37 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – Uncapped
18. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
19. Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
20. Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 3 caps
21. Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors) – 7 caps
22. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
23. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 49 caps

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