Scotland v South Africa: Six changes for Springboks Test

Gregor Townsend has made six changes to his Scotland team. Picture: SNS Group
Gregor Townsend has made six changes to his Scotland team. Picture: SNS Group
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Gregor Townsend has made six changes to his Scotland team for the Autumn Test against South Africa.

Townsend’s side trounced Fiji in an eight-try demolition job last weekend, but the head coach has already admitted his team will have to step up their performance if they are to halt the Springboks’ physical threat.

London Irish prop Gordon Reid comes in at loosehead, vice captain Stuart McInally starts at hooker, while locks Jonny Gray and Ben Toolis return alongside back-rower Hamish Watson.

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Sam Skinner, named man of the match against the Fijians have made his Test debut at lock, is switched to the blind-side flank position.

The return of Glasgow Warriors centre Huw Jones is the only change to the back division.

Townsend, who was part of the coaching staff when Dan Parks kicked Scotland to a 21-17 win over the Boks in 2010, said: “Their traditional strength has always been their physicality and this remains a key point of difference for them.

“We expect them to be confrontational and powerful in their ball carrying, their defence and also at set-piece time. It will be a great challenge for our forward pack in particular.

“South Africa have always had a smart kicking game with an excellent chase but what we’ve seen over the past few months is an ambition to move the ball from counter attack and a push to get their forwards passing the ball more.

“Our defence will have to be strong to nullify this ambitious attacking game plan.

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“We’re looking forward to playing one of the best teams in the world and playing once more in front of a sell-out crowd at BT Murrayfield.”

Scotland team to face South Africa at BT Murrayfield

15. Stuart Hogg 14. Tommy Seymour 13. Huw Jones 12. Pete Horne 11. Sean Maitland 10. Finn Russell 9. Greig Laidlaw (captain) 1. Gordon Reid 2. Stuart McInally 3. Willem Nel 4. Ben Toolis 5. Jonny Gray 6. Sam Skinner 7. Hamish Watson 8. Ryan Wilson

Replacements: 16. Fraser Brown 17. Allan Dell 18. Simon Berghan 19. Josh Strauss 20. Jamie Ritchie 21. Ali Price 22. Adam Hastings 23. Chris Harris