Scotland team to play Australia: Six changes made, Jack Dempsey in line for debut, broken toe rules out one man
The Glasgow Warriors No 8 won 14 caps for the Aussies but has taken advantage of a change in eligibility regulations to switch to Scotland. He is named among the replacements for the opening match of the Autumn Nations Series, with his club-mate Matt Fagerson retaining the No. 8 jersey.
Townsend has made six changes to his starting XV from Scotland’s last outing, the 34-31 defeat by Argentina in Santiago del Estero in July. Darcy Graham, the Edinburgh winger who has been in sparkling form, comes back into the side at the expense of Rufus McLean who will play for Glasgow on Friday. The other changes are in the forwards, some enforced by Townsend only being able to select home-based players because the match falls outside the designated international window. Pierre Schoeman starts at loosehead in place of Ulster’s Rory Sutherland, Dave Cherry is at hooker instead of Sale’s Ewan Ashman and Grant Gilchrist is in at lock for Exeter’s Jonny Gray.
Jamie Ritchie, fully recovered from a serious hamstring injury, captains Scotland, replacing the injured Rory Darge at blindside flanker, and Sam Skinner comes in for Scott Cummings in the second row. Cummings has been ruled out of the Autumn Nations Series after breaking a toe in training this week. It has meant a call-up for Edinburgh’s Glen Young, who has been named on the bench.
There are still a few thousand tickets left for Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 5.30pm.
Scotland team to face Australia at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, live on Amazon Prime, Saturday October 29: 15. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap, 14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 29 caps, 13. Mark Bennett (Edinburgh Rugby) 27 caps, 12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps, 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 19 caps, 10. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 34 caps, 9. Ali Price – Vice Captain – (Glasgow Warriors) 54 caps; 1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 12 caps, 2. Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 7 caps, 3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 50 caps, 4. Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 22 caps, 5. Grant Gilchrist – Vice Captain – (Edinburgh Rugby) 55 caps, 6. Jamie Ritchie – Captain – (Edinburgh Rugby) 32 caps, 7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 51 caps, 8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 24 caps. Replacements: 16. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 27 caps, 17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 22 caps, 18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 48 caps, 19. Glen Young (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap, 20. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped, 21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 17 caps, 22. Ross Thompson (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, 23. Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) 4 caps.