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Scotland name team to face world champions South Africa

Scotland name team to face world champions South Africa

Ewan Ashman

Gregor Townsend has made a host of changes to the Scotland squad that beat Australia ahead of their weekend Autumn Nations Series clash with defending world champions South Africa.

There are four personnel changes from last weekend’s starting line-up, whilst there are also two changes on the bench.

Leicester Tigers centre Matt Scott comes in for his first start since June 2017, which was Townsend’s first match as head coach against Italy, replacing Sam Johnson in the midfield.

Following his double try-scoring debut against Tonga two weeks ago, Glasgow Warriors’ winger Rufus McLean replaces Darcy Graham in the starting XV with the rest of the backline unchanged.

In the forward pack, Stuart McInally is named at hooker, George Turner drops out of the squad, while a reshuffle in the backrow sees Nick Haining start at blindside flanker, with Jamie Ritchie moving to openside.

Ewan Ashman Scotland Townsend

Hamish Watson, who started at No.7 last weekend, drops to the bench.

McLean is partnered in a back three with two British and Irish Lions in the form of full-back and captain Stuart Hogg and winger Duhan van der Merwe.

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In the centres, Chris Harris continues at 13 linking up with Scott, while Finn Russell and Ali Price form a formidable half-back axis that would frighten any Test side.

In the forwards, Pierre Schoeman and Zander Fagerson pack down either side of McInally, while Sam Skinner and Grant Gilchrist hunker down in the second row.

Alongside Haining and Ritchie in the back row, Matt Fagerson continues at No.8.

And on the bench, Blair Kinghorn comes into the match day 23, with him and Watson the only changes to the Scotland bench following last week’s win over Australia.

Scotland Head Coach Gregor 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’ll 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.

“As a playing and coaching group, we took a huge amount of energy from the crowd at BT Murrayfield through their outstanding support against Australia. We can’t wait to get back out in front of our people again this weekend.”

Scotland team to face South Africa: 15. Stuart Hogg (Captain, Exeter Chiefs) 14. Rufus McLean (Glasgow Warriors) 13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 12. Matt Scott (Leicester Tigers) 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors) 10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) 9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors); 1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 2. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) 3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 4. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) 5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 6. Nick Haining (Edinburgh Rugby) 7. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) 8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements: 16. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 18. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) 19. Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh Rugby) 20. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 22. Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby) 23. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby)

South Africa team to face Scotland: 15. Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), 14. Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), 13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), 12. Damian de Allende (Munster), 11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), 10. Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes), 9. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers); 1. Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks), 2. Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks), 3. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 4. Eben Etzebeth (Toulon), 5. Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), 6. Siya Kolisi (Captain, Cell C Sharks), 7. Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo), 8. Duane Vermeulen (Ulster)

Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears),17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), 18 Vincent Koch (Saracens), 19. Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks), 20. Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers), 21. Cobus Reinach (Montpellier), 22. Handré Pollard (Montpellier), 23. Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs)

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