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Gregor Townsend Names Much Changed Scotland Team For First Game In Charge

Scotland’s new Head Coach has today named his team to take on Italy in Singapore this Saturday (kick-off 8pm local, 1pm BST), and includes a raft of changes from Vern Cotter’s last game in charge.

There are 9 changes in all to the starting XV that downed the same side in the final Six Nations game a couple of months ago.

The majority come in the forwards with captain John Barclay and Ross Ford the only survivors. Both props have changed with WP Nel returning after a long period off injured and partnering fellow Edinburgh front rower Allan Dell.

There’s also a brand new second row partnership in the hulking forms of Ben Toolis and Tim Swinson.

The last changes come in returning backrowers Josh Strauss and John Hardie who have both just come back from injury.

The back changes are largely enforced care of Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Greig Laidlaw being away with the British and Irish Lions.

Duncan Taylor moves from his comfort zone to full back for Hogg, whilst Damien Hoyland replaces Seymour.

Matt Scott makes his first start in almost a year after impressing for Gloucester and reforms a familiar partnership with Alex Dunbar in the centres.

On the bench there’s a massive bias toward the forwards with only 2 back replacements named – Henry Pyrgos and Peter Horne.

Edinburgh fans will be glad to see Magnus Bradbury back in the the squad, but also with the fact the former Warriors coach has named more of their players in the starting team (6).

Scotland Team To Face Italy:

15. Duncan Taylor (Saracens)
14. Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby)
13. Matt Scott (Gloucester)
12. Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors)
11. Tim Visser (Harlequins)
10. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors)
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)

1. Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby)
2. Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby)
3. Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby)
4. Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors)
5. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby)
6. John Barclay CAPTAIN (Scarlets)
7. John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby)
8. Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks)

Subs
16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Gordon Reid (London Irish)
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
19. Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors)
20. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby)
21. Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)
22. Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors)
23. Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors)

What do you think of the team? Let us know in the comments below.

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