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Scotland ring the changes

13th June 2013 11:36

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Peter Murchie for Glasgow Warriors

Test debut: Peter Murchie

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has made seven changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Test against South Africa in Nelspruit.

Amongst those are the inclusion of three debutants. They are the Glasgow Warriors trio, full-back Peter Murchie, wing Tommy Seymour and lock forward Tim Swinson.

They are among seven changes in the starting line-up from the 17-27 loss in Durban as head coach Johnson adheres firmly to his policy of broadening the base of players within the international set-up, while at the same time dealing with a number of injuries.

The other changes see Ruaridh Jackson return at fly-half, his first start since Scotland's Six Nations Championship victory over Ireland in February with Tom Heathcote rested after his concussion against Samoa.

There are two injury-enforced switches, which see Scott Lawson at hooker for Pat MacArthur and Ryan Wilson, making his first start for Scotland, instead of Kelly Brown at openside flank; and a new engine room combination with Swinson locking with Jim Hamilton.

Greig Laidlaw, who has skippered Edinburgh, takes over the leadership duties from the injured Brown, thus becoming Scotland's 113th Test match captain.

A further three changes are made on the bench involving Jon Welsh, Al Kellock and David Denton.

"I'm hard pressed to remember so many injuries from the one Test match but it's a fact and we just have to get on with it," said Johnson.

"I'd said from before we left Scotland that we wanted to find out about players through this tour and, perhaps, because of circumstances, some of that is being accelerated.

"But there's no doubt for me that our three new caps, for example, have had strong seasons for Glasgow and have worked really diligently on the training fields out here to earn their chance.

"We've faced South Africa a fair bit in the last decade and right now they're the second best team in the world, playing on their own paddock, and with a win against Italy already under their belts.

"We have to be competitive and, once again, I'll reiterate that we have to get our accuracy and aggression 100% at breakdown to give ourselves the opportunity."

Scotland: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Ryan Wilson, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Stevie Lawrie, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Moray Low, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 17.15 (local)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzčre (France), Nigel Hennessy (Wales)
Television match official:Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)
Assessor: Dennis Immelman

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