As predicted by you the Scottish Rugby Blog readers, second-row brothers Richie and Jonny Gray will play their first game of test rugby together this Saturday, following their selection to start for Scotland against Argentina at BT Murrayfield Stadium (8 November, kick-off 5.30pm).
Selection represents a second start for the younger Gray, 20, who will make his sixth appearance for his country alongside his 39-times capped, 25-year-old, British & Irish Lions sibling.
Gray is not the only promising young player to earn the right to start the nation’s opening viagogo Autumn Test, with 21-year-old Glasgow Warriors Mark Bennett and Adam Ashe set to make their first and second appearances at outside-centre and number 8 respectively.
Head coach Vern Cotter, said: “We’ve been studying these players since the start of the season and have selected a group we believe can do the job in this Saturday’s Test match against Argentina.
“We have several performance-related themes, and have looked for people who have the ability to control games, take initiative, can pick up the ball and run with it, who like physical confrontation and can keep the ball alive.
“These are things that we have prioritised in our selection and we’re now all looking forward to getting out there and putting in a good performance in front of the Scottish people on Saturday.”
On debutant Mark Bennett, Cotter added: “I really appreciate what Mark has done because he has been very patient and has been developing his performances week in, week out for Glasgow Warriors.
“Patience and working hard is what you want from your players.
“You can see his determination in the way he breaks the line and scores tries. I’m really pleased he’s developed that over the last couple of years and will now make his debut for his country, which is a very special achievement.”
The Gray brothers will pack down behind an experienced front-row trio of Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and Euan Murray, who share a total of 173 caps going into the game.
The forwards are then completed by a new-look, back-row combination, with flankers Rob Harley and Blair Cowan forming a unit with Ashe for the first time.
In the backs, all but one player – captain Greig Laidlaw – have been picked from Glasgow Warriors’ attacking stable, with Finn Russell the half-back partner at stand-off, and Alex Dunbar starting alongside Bennett in midfield.
An exciting back-three completes the side, with Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour in the wide channels seeking to bring their club’s prolific form onto the international stage.
With one debutant, Bennett, among four – Ashe, Cowan and Russell – preparing to make their first appearance on home soil, Cotter reaffirmed his willingness to empower his men’s attack.
He added: “There is a genuine desire for this squad and those selected for the Test to play well for the jersey.
“When the players run out they’ll do it with a lot of pride and a lot of respect.
“There will be a common cause to have the confidence to attack and take the initiative against Argentina, which is arguably the most improved country in the world.
“We’ll try and put a cohesive effort out there technically and tactically, but I can assure you the players are, emotionally, very attached and are working extra hard to put in a good performance.
“So let’s be strong, let’s be passionate as we always are; play for the people that come to the stadium and the Scots in this country and around the world.”
Tickets for the match are still available.
Saturday (4 November, kick-off 5.30pm)15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
14 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors)
13 Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors)
12 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors)
11 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
10 Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors)
9 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester)
1 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby)
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby)
3 Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors)
4 Richie Gray (Castres)
5 Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
6 Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors)
7 Blair Cowan (London Irish)
8 Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors)
17 Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors)
18 Geoff Cross (London Irish)
19 Jim Hamilton (Saracens)
20 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan)
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors)
22 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)
23 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (IRFU), Marius Mitrea (FIR)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR)