After fielding six debutants in last weekend’s Test against Samoa, Scotland have named three more new caps in their team to play South Africa at Nelspruit on Saturday.
They are (pictured above) the Glasgow Warriors trio, full-back Peter Murchie, 27; lock forward Tim Swinson, 26; and 24-year-old wing Tommy Seymour.
They are among seven changes in the starting line-up from the 17-27 loss in Durban as head coach Scott Johnson adheres firmly to his policy of broadening the base of players within the international set-up, while at the same time dealing with a number of injuries. The team that takes on the Springboks will be nowhere near full strength – even we fervent followers can see little other than a hammering coming.
Other changes include Ruaridh Jackson return at stand-off, with Tom Heathcote resting with a concussion. Tim Visser is not concussed but is not in the squad either, a first since he began his International career; Greig Tonks has suffered a similar fate. Scott Lawson is at hooker for injured Pat MacArthur and Ryan Wilson the latest non-openside to turn out at 7 for Scotland. Wilson makes his first start for Scotland and will hope to display some more of the club form that earned him his first caps.
Greig Laidlaw, who has skippered Edinburgh Rugby, takes over the leadership duties for the injured Brown, thus becoming Scotland’s 113th Test match captain.
A further three changes are made on the bench, involving Jon Welsh, Alastair Kellock and David Denton.
Scott Johnson told www.scottishrugby.org: “I’m hard pressed to remember so many injuries from the one Test match but it’s a fact and we just have to get on with it.
“I’d said from before we left Scotland that we wanted to find out about players through this tour and, perhaps, because of circumstances, some of that is being accelerated.
“We’ve faced South Africa a fair bit in the last decade and right now they’re the second best team in the world, playing on their own paddock, and with a win against Italy (44-10) already under their belts.
“We have to be competitive and, once again, I’ll reiterate that we have to get our accuracy and aggression 100% at breakdown to give ourselves the opportunity.”
Teams for South Africa v Scotland at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit on Saturday 15 June, kick-off 5.15pm local time (4.15pm BST), live on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Scotland.
South Africa : W Le Roux; B Habana, JJ Engelbrecht, J De Villiers (capt), B Basson; M Steyn, R Pienaar; T Mtawarira, A Strauss, J Du Plessis, E Estebeth, J Kruger, M Coetzee, A Botha, P Spies. Replacements : B Du Plessis, T Nyakane, C Oosthuizen, F van der Merwe, S Kolisi, P van Zyl, P Lambie, J Serfontein.
Scotland : Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw (capt), Alasdair Dickinson, Scott Lawson, Euan Murray, Tim Swinson, Jim Hamilton, Alasdair Strokosch, Ryan Wilson, Johnnie Beattie. Replacements : Stevie Lawrie, Jon Welsh, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Duncan Taylor.
Referee: Romain Poite (France).
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France) and Neil Hennessy (Wales).