The teams are out for the meatiest of our Autumn tests, and there are changes as you would expect, but maybe not as many as you might have thought.
The backline is pretty settled but Alex Dunbar drops out of things with Pete Horne and Huw Jones a new centre partnership for the autumn. It’s the only change in a backline that looks built for speed rather than defence. So Super Rugby, maybe Rassie was right?
Sam Skinner’s engine gets a big vote of trust as he starts at blindside flanker with two back rows on the bench leaving him as second-row cover, which means that Grant Gilchrist also drops out altogether. The other big change is the introduction of Gordon Reid at loosehead, with Brown and McInally swapping at hooker and Ben Toolis and Jonny Gray restored to the starting XV.
In the back row, Ryan Wilson is still at Number 8 while Hamish Watson returns to the openside berth. There is plenty of versatility on the bench to mix and match back row slots but should Strauss be starting over the vice-captain? Oh, and there’s no sign yet of Gary Graham.
Scotland have only lost to New Zealand at home in 9 tests (most of them sellouts) but this could be a tricky test against a Springbok side with a new lease of life under former Munster coach Rassie Erasmus.
Scotland team: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Pete Horne, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Gordon Reid, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Ben Toolis, Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson.
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Josh Strauss, Jamie Ritchie, Ali Price, Adam Hastings, Chris Harris.
South Africa: Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Handré Pollard, Embrose Papier; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Vincent Koch, Lood de Jager, Francois Louw, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe.
For more details, check out Kevin’s in depth previews: Part I is here.