Scotland team to face USA: 15 changes as big guns return on milestone night for co-captain

Townsend sticks by his plan to give all of his squad some game-time

Gregor Townsend has changed his entire starting side for the second match of Scotland’s tour of the Americas.

The head coach had said before the opener against Canada that it was his intention to give everyone at least two games on the four-match trip and he is sticking to that with his selection to face the USA in Washington DC on Friday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Scots scored 11 tries and gave debuts to 10 players during the 73-12 hammering of the Canadians in Ottawa. The side to play the United States is a lot more experienced and features the return of the Glasgow Warriors big guns who started the URC final triumph over the Bulls in South Africa last month.

The game at Audi Field on Friday will also be a landmark occasion for Edinburgh’s Jamie Ritchie, who will win his 50th Scotland cap.

The all-new team to face the US will be co-captained by two of the Glasgow heroes from Loftus Versfeld, with Rory Darge and Sione Tuipulotu sharing the leadership duties. Darge was co-captain during this year’s Six Nations alongside Finn Russell who is not part of the tour squad. Tuipulotu was vice-captain during the Six Nations but is now promoted. The vice-captains on Friday will be Ritchie and Kyle Steyn.

Six of the seven backs are Glasgow players. Kyle Rowe starts at full-back where he performed effectively against Wales in February. The wingers are Steyn and Duhan van der Merwe, the latter being the lone Edinburgh representative in the back division. Tuipulotu reunites with his club-mate Huw Jones in the centre and the halfbacks are Adam Hastings, who is returning to Glasgow after three years with Gloucester, and George Horne.

There are another four Warriors players in the pack, along with three from Edinburgh and Alex Craig of the Scarlets who wins his third cap, three years after his last. The Dumfries-born lock partners Scott Cummings in the second row. The front row is formed of Pierre Schoeman at loosehead prop, Ewan Ashman at hooker and Murphy Walker at tighthead. Ritchie is picked at blindside flanker and is joined in the back row by Darge and No 8 Matt Fagerson. Fagerson and Steyn came off the bench against Canada.

Sione Tuipulotu has been named as co-captain for the second match of Scotland's tour, against the USA. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Sione Tuipulotu has been named as co-captain for the second match of Scotland's tour, against the USA. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Sione Tuipulotu has been named as co-captain for the second match of Scotland's tour, against the USA. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The replacements for the USA game all featured in Ottawa and include debutants Robbie Smith, Max Williamson and Matt Currie as well as the more experienced Rory Sutherland, Elliot Millar Mills, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson.

The match will kick off at 11:30pm UK time on Friday.

Scotland team to face (v USA, Audi Field, Washington DC, Friday 12 July, 11:30pm (BST): 15. Kyle Rowe – Glasgow Warriors; 14. Kyle Steyn – Vice-Captain – Glasgow Warriors, 13. Huw Jones – Glasgow Warriors, 12. Sione Tuipulotu (co-capt) – Glasgow Warriors, 11. Duhan van der Merwe – Edinburgh; 10. Adam Hastings – Glasgow Warriors, 9. George Horne – Glasgow Warriors; 1. Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh, 2. Ewan Ashman – Edinburgh, 3. Murphy Walker – Glasgow Warriors, 4. Alex Craig ­– Scarlets, 5. Scott Cummings – Glasgow Warriors, 6. Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh, 7. Rory Darge (co-capt) – Glasgow Warriors, 8. Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors. Replacements: 16. Robbie Smith – Northampton Saints, 17. Rory Sutherland – Glasgow Warriors, 18. Elliot Millar Mills – Northampton Saints, 19. Max Williamson – Glasgow Warriors, 20. Luke Crosbie – Edinburgh, 21. Jamie Dobie – Glasgow Warriors, 22. Ross Thompson – Edinburgh, 23. Matt Currie – Edinburgh.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.