Skinner comes into the back row for the game against Wales on Saturday, replacing the injured Jamie Ritchie who has been ruled out for the remainder of the Six Nations campaign.
The Edinburgh flanker damaged his hamstring in the 20-17 win over England and has undergone surgery.
Tuipulotu’s inclusion is reward for an excellent first season with Glasgow Warriors. A dynamic attacker, the Aussie-born back is preferred to his club-mate Sam Johnson at inside centre. Johnson drops out entirely and will instead play for Glasgow against Munster in the United Rugby Championship at Scotstoun on Friday night.
The other headline news from Gregor Townsend’s team announcement is the coach’s decision to begin the match with the front row that finished the England game.
Edinburgh trio Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally and WP Nel stood up to extreme scrum pressure in the dying minutes of last weekend’s Calcutta Cup clash and are given the nod to start in Wales.
Rory Sutherland, George Turner and Zander Fagerson all drop to the bench but are likely to introduced early in the second half in a reverse of last week’s strategy.
In looking to build on a superb start to the Six Nations, Townsend’s side will have to do what no Scotland team has done since he himself was playing.
The coach was at stand-off in 2002 when the Scots last won in Cardiff thanks to two tries from hooker Gordon Bulloch, 14 points from the boot of Brendan Laney and three from Duncan Hodge.
Townsend, who guided Scotland to victory in Llanelli in the delayed 2020 Six Nations, seems unencumbered by the side’s history in Cardiff and believes the current group have showed their aptitude for winning important away games.
“We’ve not been there for four years and a lot has happened in that time,” said the coach. “We’ve had experiences against top sides home and away and shown resilience in those games. We’ve not won them all, but I believe the tests we had in Paris and Twickenham set us up for a great challenge this week with a full stadium, one of the best venues in the world.”