Autumn Nations Series: Scotland name four uncapped players to face Tonga at Murrayfield on Saturday | Rugby Union News


Debuts given to South Africa-born prop Pierre Schoeman and Edinburgh team-mate Jamie Hodgson; Scotland name Ali Price and Jamie Ritchie as co-captains for Murrayfield fixture, which falls outside Test-recognised window

Last Updated: 27/10/21 1:45pm

Pierre Schoeman is among eight debutants in the Scotland squad

Pierre Schoeman is among eight debutants in the Scotland squad

Scotland have picked four uncapped players to face Tonga in their opening match of the Autumn Nations Series on Saturday.

South Africa-born prop Pierre Schoeman is joined by Edinburgh team-mate and lock Jamie Hodgson in making his debut, with Glasgow duo Sione Tuipulotu and Rufus McLean named at outside centre and wing respectively.

Scotland will be led by co-captains – Glasgow’s British and Irish Lion Ali Price and Edinburgh’s Jamie Ritchie – for the first time for the Murrayfield fixture.

Edinburgh’s Blair Kinghorn is handed his first start at fly-half, while Glasgow lock Rob Harley will win his 23rd cap in his first international start since November 2016.

Prop Zander Fagerson and flanker Hamish Watson both return to the Scotland fold following their involvement on the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in the summer.

Glasgow wing Kyle Steyn will win his first Test start after making his debut off the bench in the Six Nations victory against France in March 2020.

Edinburgh’s Darcy Graham starts at full-back in the absence of regular captain Stuart Hogg, who is among the English-based players unavailable for this weekend’s fixture which falls outside World Rugby’s Test-recognised window.

Edinburgh pair Marshall Sykes and Luke Crosbie are two of four uncapped players named among the replacements, along with Glasgow half-back partners Ross Thompson and Jamie Dobie.

Scotland head coach Gregor 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.

“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: 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





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