Scotland make nine changes for Argentina test
Head Coach Gregor Townsend has made nine changes to the starting Scotland line-up for the final match in the 2018 Autumn Test series against Argentina at BT Murrayfield (24 November, kick-off 2.30pm) – live on BT Sport and BBC.
The game is on-course for a sell-out, generating the 11th consecutive Scotland match to be played to a 67,144 capacity at BT Murrayfield.
It was only five months ago the two teams last met as part of the 2018 Summer Tour which saw the visitors to Argentina put in an impressive performance to win by a record score against the Pumas 44-15 in Resistencia.
A contrast to the last-minute win when Argentina last visited Scotland back in the autumn of 2016 when the home side recorded a 19-16 victory with a late Greig Laidlaw penalty.
The Scottish pack which fronted up so well against the Springboks last weekend sees six changes, including a new starting front row of prop Allan Dell, hooker Fraser Brown and prop Simon Berghan, which finished the match against South Africa.
Lock Jonny Gray retains his starting place in the second row and is joined by Grant Gilchrist in place of Ben Toolis.
Jamie Ritchie’s recent impressive performances see him come back into the XV at blindside flanker, with Sam Skinner, who played six last Saturday, moving to the bench after featuring in the last two matches.
Josh Strauss starts his first match since the 2017 summer tour at number eight.
In the back division there are three changes, two in personnel and one positional, with captain Greig Laidlaw continuing at scrum-half.
Finn Russell moves to inside-centre as Adam Hastings starts at fly-half to continue an exciting combination which has finished the last two Autumn Tests versus Fiji and South Africa respectively.
Huw Jones retains his place at outside-centre with Blair Kinghorn starting his first match of the autumn at wing. Stuart Hogg has recovered from his ankle knock to stay at full-back and Sean Maitland again plays on the wing.
Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “While it was a great effort from the players to win in Argentina last summer, we are under no illusions as how different a prospect their team will be on Saturday.
“Under Mario Ledesma Argentina delivered some outstanding performances and they were hugely impressive in their victories over South Africa and Australia in the recent Rugby Championship. I’m sure that they will throw everything at us to end their international season on a high note.
“With four Test matches in succession, we’ve been conscious of rotating the squad to enable as many players as possible to be in the best physical condition for each contest. We are expecting those selected this weekend to bring energy and huge effort to the game and seize the opportunity to perform at their best level against a very good team. It will be another huge challenge, not only for our forward pack, but also for our defence – as Argentina play ambitious, skilful and effective attacking rugby.”
Last week’s starting front row players Stuart McInally and WP Nel move to the bench and are joined by Glasgow Warriors prop Alex Allan.
Ryan Wilson comes onto the bench after featuring in all three Autumn Tests, as does centre Alex Dunbar and scrum-half George Horne.
Sale Sharks wing Byron McGuigan joins the matchday 23 for the first time this series to complete the bench.
Scotland team to play Argentina at BT Murrayfield
Saturday 24 November (kick-off 2.30pm) – live on BT Sport and BBC
15. Stuart Hogg VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 64 caps
14. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 36 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
12. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 39 caps
11. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 6 caps
10. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
9. Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Clermont Auvergne) – 65 caps
1. Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 16 caps
2. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps
3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 13 caps
4. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
5. Jonny Gray VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 46 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 5 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
8. Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 16 caps
16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 21 caps
17. Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
18. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
19. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 2 caps
20. Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 40 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) - 4 caps
22. Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) - 30 caps
23. Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 5 caps