Kelly Brown will captain Scotland against Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday in the first viagogo Autumn Test.
Back-row forward Brown, 31, returns after recovering from the leg injury which cut short his involvement in Scotland’s summer tour to South Africa. It will be his tenth Test as Scotland captain and 59th cap overall.
He is one of six changes in personnel and two further positional switches from Scotland’s last match – the last-gasp 30-29 victory over Italy in the quadrangular tournament in Pretoria in June.
The modifications see Sean Maitland, Nick De Luca,, Ruaridh Jackson, Ryan Grant and Ross Ford join Brown in the starting line-up with David Denton and Alasdair Strokosch listed in their more customary back-row berths.
Two players who made their debuts in the summer, the Glasgow Warriors duo, wing Tommy Seymour (above left) and lock Tim Swinson (above right), will make their first starts at Murrayfield, while De Luca returns to the international arena for the first time since last November, having spent the 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship on the side-lines through injury.
Scotland head coach Scott Johnson, mindful of the team’s reputation as being “slow starters” at the outset of campaigns, said: “We are looking to the future and we’re also looking at people’s futures too.
“This selection is a first chance for some to put their hand up. We have a 22-months campaign pre-World Cup and one of the mantras is ‘this could be your last Test match’.
“It’s not a right to play for your country. You have to go out there and perform. It’s important that these guys who have got the jerseys go out and perform.”
Johnson described Japan – conquerors of Wales during the summer – as a “formidable” team who have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.
He added: “Saturday is a good chance for the players to show their wares. Japan are well-coached, have a great work ethic and really good knowledge of rugby now.”
Scotland team (sponsor RBS) to play Japan in the viagogo Autumn Test at Murrayfield on Saturday 9 November, kick-off 2.30pm
15 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps, 1 try, 5 points
14 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
13 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps, 1 try, 5 points
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 15 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
11 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 79 caps, 11 tries, 55 points
10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 21 caps, 3 conversions, 2 penalties, 2 drop-goals, 18 points
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps, 2 tries, 21 conversions, 47 penalties, 193 points
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), 10 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 68 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 56 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 55 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 35 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) 58 caps, 4 tries, 20 points CAPTAIN
8 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 14 caps
16 Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap
17 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) 27 caps, 1 try, 5 points
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 22 caps, 1 try, 5 points
19 Richie Gray (Castres) 31 caps, 1 try, 5 points
20 John Barclay (Scarlets) 41 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps, 1 try, 5 points
22 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps, 1 conversion, 2 points
23 Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 3 caps
Referee: J P Doyle (England). Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales) and Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland).