Scotland: Blair Kinghorn starts at fly-half with former Aussie Jack Dempsey on the bench

Colin Newboult

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has handed the fly-half reins to Blair Kinghorn for their match against the Wallabies on Saturday.

Kinghorn started all three Tests in Argentina in July and is once again given the responsibility for the clash at Murrayfield.

Finn Russell was surprisingly omitted for the Autumn Nations Series, which meant Kinghorn, Adam Hastings and Ross Thompson were vying for the shirt.

With Hastings unavailable due to the match falling outside the international window, Thompson takes his place on the bench.

Elsewhere in the backline, Ollie Smith, Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe form a potent back three combination, with Mark Bennett and Sione Tuipulotu partnering at centre.

Exciting loose trio

Up front, Jamie Ritchie plays his first Scotland match as captain and he is joined in the back-row by Matt Fagerson and Hamish Watson.

Sam Skinner and Grant Gilchrist are at lock with Zander Fagerson, Dave Cherry and Pierre Schoeman the front-row trio.

On the bench, Jack Dempsey is set to earn his first Scotland cap against his former country Australia.

Dempsey made 14 appearances for the Wallabies between 2017 and 2019 but qualifies for the Scots due to World Rugby’s new regulations.

George Turner, Jamie Bhatti, WP Nel, Glen Young, George Horne and Damien Hoyland complete the replacements.

Scotland: 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie (c), 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 WP Nel, 19 Glen Young, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 George Horne, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Damien Hoyland

Date: Saturday, October 29
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 17:30 BST (16:30 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

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