Just 127 days will have elapsed from the last time these two sides met – on that occasion in Santiago del Estero. Despite the proximity of that encounter the teams who go head to head at Murrayfield will be very different with just 6 returning starters for the hosts and 8 for the visitors. Overall there are 21 changes to the matchday squads.
Tale of the tape
68 Tries 42
95kg Average weight 87kg
318 Total caps 302
28.7 Average age 28.0
926kg Pack weight 909kg
16 Tries 39
318 Total caps 428
28.6 Average age 27.1
107 Total caps 319
19 Tries 35
25.9 Average age 28.6
2 changes to the starting XV from Scotland’s last Test (v New Zealand)
- 4 – J. Gray for R. Gray [=]
- 6/7/8 – Dempsey for Watson [=]
Head to heads
11 vd Merwe
de la Fuente 12
S. Carreras 10
3 Z. Fagerson
4 J. Gray
6 M. Fagerson
7 Ritchie (c)
Montoya (c) 2
Backs – advantage Scotland
This is the 7th time that Gregor Towsend has named an unchanged starting backline for consecutive matches during his time in charge of Scotland. With the exception of Sione Tuipulotu replacing Sam Johnson, this is the same backline that started 2022 for the national side with a win over England at Murrayfield. There is a sense that if the World Cup was to begin tomorrow instead of in 10 months’ time, that this would be the selection to take on both South Africa and Ireland. What changes might the next 298 days bring though?
Forwards – even
The Scottish forwards have taken a bit of a battering with Dave Cherry, Sam Skinner and Hamish Watson all dropping out from the pack that started against Australia. Add in Scott Cummings picking up an injury before the action even started and Richie Gray copping a ban after rolling back the years with his performances against Fiji and New Zealand and it’s not been the easiest of times up front for the Scots.
Subs – advantage Argentina
The Scottish bench has undergone a major overhaul, primarily due to injuries. It’s a youthful group that the coaches will hope can bring some energy to proceedings after the dark blues rather faded out of the last 20 minutes against the All Blacks. With an average age under 26 there’s doubtless one eye on the potential for development as well.
– 37 – the number of players selected by Scotland across the four Tests in the 2022 Autumn Nations Series.
– In the squad for the Autumn Tests but not named in a matchday 23:
- Scott Cummings (injured before first game); Jamie Hodgson (late call-up); Callum Hunter-Hill (late call-up); Josh Bayliss; Luke Crosbie; Nick Haining; Stafford McDowall; Rufus McLean; Kyle Steyn.
– In total, 53 players have played some part in Scotland’s 12 Tests during 2022. Just 3 men have featured in every game:
- Zander Fagerson (including 11 starts); Ali Price (11); Pierre Schoeman (10).
– In the last five years there have only been two occasions when Scotland have named a more experienced 23 than this lineup (743 caps) – although that’s still more than 300 caps behind the Pumas’ squad for this game (1,049).
– At 926kgs this is the heaviest starting pack selected for Scotland during the Townsend era.
– This will be the 25th time Ali Price and Finn Russell have started together in the half backs for Scotland, still some way short of the 36 starts for Russell and Greig Laidlaw. The only time Finn has started at 10 outside a different scrum half for the national side was against the USA during the 2015 RWC (Henry Pyrgos).
– Last week against New Zealand was just the second time in the last five years that Scotland’s ruck success rate dropped below 90% (also South Africa 2018).
– Scotland have received yellow cards in three consecutive games for the first time since the 2015 RWC.