Four uncapped Warriors named for Tonga clash
Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has selected a matchday 23 containing four Warriors in line for their international debut for this weekend’s clash with Tonga at BT Murrayfield, as his side looks to make a winning start to the 2021 Autumn Nations Series.
The quartet form part of a squad containing 13 representatives from Glasgow, with British and Irish Lions scrum-half Ali Price leading the side as one of two co-captains named by Townsend for the clash.
ℹ️ Important information for Saturday's game against Tonga. Please take a moment to read if you're heading to @BTMurrayfield this weekend.
Read our Autumn Nations Series FAQs ➡️ https://t.co/ubsNgekWvN pic.twitter.com/L1eWd9WGrJ
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) October 26, 2021
Joining Price in a dangerous-looking back-line is livewire winger Rufus McLean, who is rewarded for his scintillating form over the last eight months with an international debut at the home of Scottish rugby.
Sione Tuipulotu is also set to make his first appearance in the dark blue jersey, having impressed fans and pundits alike since his summer switch to Scotstoun from Yamaha Jubilo.
The centre forms an all-Glasgow midfield partnership with Sam Johnson, the pair having dove-tailed to excellent effect thus far in the United Rugby Championship.
There is also a welcome return to Scotland duty for Kyle Steyn on the wing, with a combination of the COVID-19-enforced suspension of rugby and long-term injury meaning that the former Scotland 7s star has had to wait 16 months for his second cap after making his debut against France in March 2020.
Up front, Zander Fagerson is named at tight-head after returning to action on Friday night following his British and Irish Lions commitments over the summer.
George Turner joins his club-mate in the front-row, having played a part in all five of Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations fixtures earlier this year.
Rob Harley is selected in the engine room, with the club’s all-time record holder for appearances set to win his 23rd cap for his country.
Matt Fagerson completes the Glasgow contingent in the starting line-up, as he packs down at number eight.
Four more Warriors will be awaiting the nod from Townsend and his coaching team on Saturday afternoon after being selected amongst the replacements, including Jamie Bhatti; the loose-head is in line for his first appearance for Scotland since last November after impressing in Glasgow’s opening five URC matches.
Fellow prop Oli Kebble is likewise selected in the matchday 23, with the 29-year-old covering tight-head in the number 18 jersey.
Two more potential debutants will be hoping to take to the BT Murrayfield pitch for the first time in Scotland colours, as half-back duo Jamie Dobie and Ross Thompson cover the back division.
It’s a first inclusion in a senior Scotland matchday squad for scrum-half Dobie, whilst fly-half Thompson will be looking to make his international debut at the same stadium that saw him pull on a Glasgow Warriors jersey for the first time.
The match kicks-off at 2.30pm on Saturday, live on Amazon Prime.
Scotland team to face Tonga at BT Murrayfield, Saturday 30 October, kick-off 2:30pm
15. Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby – 19 caps
14. Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors – 1 cap
13. Sione Tuipulotu – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
12. Sam Johnson – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps
11. Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
10. Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 25 caps
9. Ali Price (cc) – Glasgow Warriors – 42 caps
8. Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 13 caps
7. Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 41 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (cc) – Edinburgh Rugby – 27 caps
5. Rob Harley – Glasgow Warriors – 22 caps
4. Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
3. Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 38 caps
2. George Turner – Glasgow Warriors – 17 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
16. Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 40 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps
18. Oli Kebble – Glasgow Warriors – 8 caps
19. Marshall Sykes – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
20. Luke Crosbie – Edinburgh Rugby – Uncapped
21. Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 8 caps
22. Jamie Dobie – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped
23. Ross Thompson – Glasgow Warriors – Uncapped