Three debutants for Scotland

Date published: June 4 2013

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has named three new players in his starting XV for Saturday's clash with Samoa in Durban.

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has named three new players in his starting XV for Saturday's clash with Samoa in Durban.

They are Edinburgh full-back Greig Tonks and the Glasgow Warriors duo, centre Alex Dunbar,and hooker Pat MacArthur.

In addition there are a further three uncapped players on the bench, Stevie Lawrie, Peter Horne and Duncan Taylor, while two players in the starting line-up have won a solitary cap each, Bath's Tom Heathcote at fly-half and Grant Gilchrist of Edinburgh at lock.

There are five changes of personnel and one positional switch from Scotland's last game – the narrow defeat away to France, which rounded-off the Six Nations Championship in March.

And there are eight survivors from the starting line-up that defeated Samoa in the sweltering heat of Apia last June.

Johnson believes the weekend's Test will be an ideal situation for him to blood new players.

“We want to broaden the base and it (selection) gives us the perfect opportunity to see how these guys stand up in Test footy,” he said.

Johnson ranked Scotland's win in Samoa last year as a tremendous achievement and expects a fierce encounter this weekend.

“They have all the artillery coming for our game and we're going out to compete on all fronts,” he added.

“We have 25 Test matches available to us prior to the World Cup.

“I've said regularly that we're not going to give Test jerseys away but we cannot be exposed to injury issues (come RWC) and the best way to prevent that is to give players opportunities.”

Scotland: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Greig Laidlaw,8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Stevie Lawrie, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Kings ParkStadium, Durban
Kick-off: 14.15 (local)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Sindile Mayende (South Africa)
Television match official:Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)

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