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Scotland announce team to play Tonga

Scotland announce team to play Tonga

Scotland announce team to play Tonga

Jamie Ritchie and Ali Price will co-captain Scotland in the first game of the Autumn Nations Series against Tonga at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

The pair are standing in for Stuart Hogg, who is on club duty with Exeter Chiefs this weekend, and will lead out a side containing four uncapped players.

Prop Pierre Schoeman and second row Jamie Hodgson are set for their first international appearances in the pack, while winger Rufus McLean and centre Sione Tuipulotu will do likewise in the back line.

With Finn Russell also on club duty in France, Blair Kinghorn gets the nod at fly-half and will be supported outside by Sam Johnson and Tuipulotu.

Reigning Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship Hamish Watson will join Ritchie in the back row, while Matt Fagerson squeezes in between at No.8.

Four more players could make their debut off the bench, with Townsend picking Marshall Sykes, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Dobie and Ross Thompson in the 23.

Townsend said: “As a playing and coaching group we are looking forward to returning to international rugby over the coming four weeks in the Autumn Nations Series.

“This week has been our first opportunity since the Six Nations to come together as a team, and our goal is to become a better team over the next month. Saturday will also be a huge occasion for a number of players in our squad who have the honour of playing for their country for the first time.

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“Tonga will be very dangerous opponents for us, as they pose a ferocious physical challenge in attack and defence. They performed very well on their last visit to Scotland and I’m sure they will be highly motivated to take the game to us once again.”

Scotland team to face Tonga – Saturday 30 October – kick-off 2:30pm – live on Amazon Prime

15. Darcy Graham, 14. Kyle Steyn, 13. Sione Tuipulotu, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Rufus McLean, 10. Blair Kinghorn, 9. Ali Price (cc), 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. George Turner, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Jamie Hodgson, 5. Rob Harley, 6. Jamie Ritchie (cc), 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Oli Kebble, 19. Marshall Sykes, 20. Luke Crosbie, 21. Nick Haining, 22. Jamie Dobie, 23. Ross Thompson – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped

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