Scotland wait for Seymour fitness as Hamilton wins 50th cap

Scotland have made four changes to their pack and await the fitness of winger Tommy Seymour before they finalise their back division for Saturday’s viagogo Autumn Test against Australia.

Glasgow Warriors team-mates prop Ryan Grant and lock Tim Swinson, return to the starting line-up for Alasdair Dickinson and Richie Gray while the definitive alterations at this stage are completed by Johnnie Beattie and Kelly Brown taking back-row berths, with Brown restored to the captaincy, instead of Alasdair Strokosch and John Barclay.

Changes are made to the bench too, where the uncapped 22-year-old Kieran Low is joined by Pat MacArthur, Dickinson and Euan Murray.

The match is a landmark for lock Jim Hamilton (pictured above) who will become the 35th Scot to win 50 or more caps for his country.

One of Hamilton’s predecessors in that distinguished club, Sean Lamont, would equal Gregor Townsend as the third most-capped Scotland back should he win his 82nd cap on Saturday.

At the other end of the scale, the uncapped 20-year-old former Scotland age-grade captain, Glasgow Warriors’ Mark Bennett, could figure in a Scotland match-day 23 for the first time.

Beattie leapfrogs dad

And in a further statistical nicety Johnnie Beattie will overtake his dad, John, when he wins his 26th cap, Beattie senior having won 25.

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson said: “A six day turn-around from one Test match to another is always a challenge and it’s one we’ll face in our opening two games of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship too.

“Tommy (Seymour) took a bang on the leg against South Africa at the weekend so we’re looking to give him every opportunity to prove his fitness. We’ll finalise our starting back division and bench once we have an update there.

“We’re clear in what we’re trying to do at the moment which is look at different combinations with a view to intensifying the competition for places in the team. That mantra doesn’t change, so we adhere to the plan, while dealing with injuries and while always being true to the jersey.

“Australia played some quality rugby against Ireland last weekend and we’re very much looking forward to renewing rivalry with them on Saturday.”

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s match from this website; via the 24-hour credit card hotline 0844 335 3933; or in person from the Scottish Rugby Ticket Centre at Murrayfield, which is open from 9am-8pm until Friday. Tickets are also available on the day but you can save money by buying in advance.

Scotland team (sponsor RBS) to play Australia in the viagogo Autumn Test at Murrayfield on Saturday 23 November, kick-off 6pm
Backs from:
Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps, 1 try, 5 points
Max Evans (Castres) 36 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby) 40 caps, 1 try, 5 points
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 5 caps
Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 81 caps, 12 tries, 60 points
Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 23 caps, 3 conversions, 2 penalties, 2 drop goals, 18 points
Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps, 1 try, 2 conversions, 9 points
Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors) 63 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps, 3 tries, 23 conversions, 49 penalties, 208 points

1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 12 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 70 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 22 caps
4 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps
5 Jim Hamilton (Montpellier) 49 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 25 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) 59 caps, 4 tries, 20 points CAPTAIN
8 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps

Substitutes

16 Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
17 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) 29 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
18 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 57 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
19 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 3 caps
20 Kieran Low (London Irish) uncapped
21 TBC
22 TBC
23 TBC

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa). Assistant referees:  Pascal Gauzere (France) and Francisco Pastrana (Argentina). TMO: Geoff Warren (England)