Scotland name team to play Georgia in autumn Test

Mark Bennett will start at centre for Scotland against Georgia at Rugby Park. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

Mark Bennett will start at centre for Scotland against Georgia at Rugby Park. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

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Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made five changes to his starting line-up for the third and final autumn Test against Georgia at Rugby Park.

Centre Mark Bennett returns to the team in place of Huw Jones, who is ruled out with a foot injury he picked up in last Saturday’s 19-16 win over Argentina at BT Murrayfield.

The other changes see cap centurion Ross Ford returning at hooker, lock Richie Gray back alongside his brother Jonny in the second row and a couple of changes in the back-row, where Rob Harley will make his first Scotland start since the 2015 Six Nations at blindside. His Glasgow team-mate Ryan Wilson returns at No 8.

Cotter said: “Our players are excited to be back in Kilmarnock and having the west country supporting us like they did two years ago will be great.

“The crowd’s enthusiasm will be key to getting a good performance against Georgia. The players feed off the energy from the stands, it’s one of these tangible things and really does help spur on the guys.”

Cotter added: “We’ve learned a lot from our previous Tests against Australia and Argentina and that’s what these games are about – learning what worked and what didn’t and making sure we improve with every game.

“Knowledge gained from our one-point loss to Australia and 83rd minute victory over Argentina will be important in negotiating Saturday’s game in the best way possible to get the win we want.

“Georgia are striving to be among the world’s best as they knock on the door of the top ten in the world rankings.

“We are expecting a typical Georgian game. They will be physical up front as they play a forwards-based game, however they are also developing their backs.”

Scotland team to play Georgia at Rugby Park

Saturday (26 November, kick-off 2.30pm) – live on BBC

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 47 caps; 11 tries, 3 pens, 64 points

14 Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 25 caps; 4 tries, 20 points

13 Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps; 6 tries, 30 points

12 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps; 5 tries, 25 points

11 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 30 caps; 13 tries, 65 points

10 Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps; 2 tries, 3 cons, 1 pen, 19 points

9 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 55 caps; 4 tries, 69 cons, 133 pens, 557 points

1 Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps

2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 101 caps; 2 tries, 10 points

3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps

4 Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 59 caps; 3 tries, 15 points

5 Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 27 caps; 2 tries, 10 points

6 Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps; 1 try, 5 points

7 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 4 caps

8 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps

Substitutes

16 Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps

17 Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) – 2 caps

18 Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 36 caps

19 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 14 caps; 1 try, 5 points

20 John Barclay (Scarlets) – 54 caps; 4 tries, 20 points

21 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped

22 Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps; 2 tries, 1 con, 1 pen, 15 points

23 Rory Hughes (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap

Unavailable through injury: Alasdair Dickinson (hamstring), John Hardie (ankle), Huw Jones (foot), Henry Pyrgos (knee).

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