Argentina v Scotland: Gregor Townsend names team for first Test

Luke Crosbie and Rory Hutchinson get their chance

Rory Hutchinson starts at full-back for Scotland against Argentina on Saturday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Rory Hutchinson starts at full-back for Scotland against Argentina on Saturday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND head coach Gregor Townsend has named Luke Crosbie as starting openside flanker for Saturday night’s summer tour Test Series opener against Argentina in JuJuy. The Edinburgh man, who captained the side in last weekend’s non-cap match against Chile, gets the nod ahead of Rory Darge, who is on the bench, with Magnus Bradbury and Matt  Fagerson taking on the other two back-row slots.

Flanker Hamish Watson (who has a minor knock in the chest/shoulder area but is expected to come back into the frame next week), fellow back-row Andy Chrystie and winger Kyle Rowe are the only three players from the 39-strong squad which flew out to South America last week who have not featured in the match-day squad for either the Chile or this match.

Meanwhile, it is the same starting front-five as was sent out against Ireland in the final game of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign, with Grant Gilchrist skippering the side.


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The No 15 jersey has been handed to Northampton Saints utility-back Rory Hutchinson, while Mark Bennett gets the nod at outside centre ahead of Sione Tuipulotu (who is a substitute).

Ewan Ashman will cover hooker from the bench, with Rory Sutherland – who was a tourist with the Lions last summer but has had an injury-ravaged 2021-22 season – covering loose-head prop and Javan Sebastian back-up tight-head. Sam Skinner, who joins Edinburgh Rugby for the new season, is also selected as a replacement.

London Irish scrum-half Ben White is included as replacement scrum-half, with fellow half-back Ross Thompson also named on the bench.

 

Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s Emiliano Boffelli will line up against seven of his team-mates tomorrow, including Darcy Graham as his direct opponent, after being named on the left wing in the Argentina.

London Irish hooker Agustin Creevy, who was sent off against Edinburgh in the Challenge Cup back in January, is on the bench for what will be Michael Cheika’s first match as head coach of the Pumas. Cheika, who coached his native Australia for five years from 2014, said after announcing his matchday squad yesterday that he expected Scotland to play a fast game with a lot of emphasis on the counter-attack.

“Scotland have a clear way of playing the game, what they want to create,” he said. “They’re very good attacking the ball on the ground; they’re very good with their counter-attack. They play with a fast tempo – lots of quick lineouts. And they’ve got a good kicking game as well.

“There might be some different players in there, but it will be the same type of game: high tempo, lots of counter-attack. We’ll have to work hard in defence.”

The match will be Argentina’s first home international since they lost 46-13 to South Africa in Salta in August 2019.

 

Scotland (v Argentina at Estadio 23 de Agosto, JuJuy, on Saturday @ 8.10pm): R Hutchinson; D Graham, M Bennett, S Johnson, D van der Merwe; B Kinghorn, A Price (VC); P Schoeman, G Turner, Z Fagerson, G Gilchrist©, J Gray, M Bradbury, L Crosbie, M Fagerson.

Replacements: E Ashman, R Sutherland, J Sebastian, S Skinner, R Darge, B White, R Thompson, S Tuipulotu.

 

Argentina: JC Mallia; S Cordero, M Orlando, J de la Fuente, E Boffelli; N Sanchez, T Cubelli; N Tetaz Chaparro, J Montoya©, F Gomez Kodela, G Petti, M Alemanno, JM Gonzalez Samso, M Kremer, P Matera.

Replacements: A Creevy, M Vivas, J Sclavi, L Paulos, F Isa, G Bertranou, S Carreras, M Moroni.


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About David Barnes 2991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

28 Comments

  1. This may seem a bit crazy to some of you, but I would have liked to see Hutchinson at 10 (a position he has played in the past) and Kinghorn at 15. No chance of that happening though as GT has surely made his mind up that Kinghorn’s future is at 10.

  2. Weirdly this could be a good move for Hutchinson who is a fine intelligent rugby player. He’s been a standout across the midfield in the premiership but can’t seem to get a look in with Toony in that position. A decent game on Saturday and his versatility might tip the balance for the Autumn and beyond.

    • I agree with Donny, I’m certainly not a cheerleader for GT but I’ve always thought Hutchinson has unlucky in his Scotland career, I remember him being brilliant and elusive v Georgia a couple of years ago. With centres available (I include Redpath and Jones in this) Hutchinson at FB is well worth a look

  3. Hutchinson arguably the best 12 in england, would really release Tuiopolotu. A bit like Tuilagi.
    Instead let’s.play him at full back
    Any logic defies description.
    Obvious GT has no real idea what he’s doing

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  4. Shame about the late withdrawals, otherwise this might have been a very different-looking three-quarter line-up. I would love to have seen Hutchinson at 12 alongside Bennet, with Huw Jones at full back and Hastings Junior at stand off. Now there would be a dangerous prospect, with our two star wingers lurking out wide with intent. As ever with Kinghorn at 10 – and despite his silky running – Scotland do not have anything approaching an international-standard goal-kicker in the side, which would be unthinkable to any coach bar Toony. He does at least have an excuse on this occasion, but the Achilles heel is there for all to see – attached to an unreliable boot. Fingers crossed for our boys. They need a good tour and I hope the last of Saturday’s four internationals will be a feast.

  5. The old management adage – you can ask a person to
    make 2 but not 3 changes at the same time – Hutcheson to
    international level , well away from home in the Argentines , at full back position . I get the impression GT manages the way he played – on a hunch ( and some were good ) – I hope he gets this right and does not destroy a good centre

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    • I mean Hutch is a brilliant player who has been the standout 12 in the prem, so let’s play him at 15. So so so weird.

  6. Wonder if GT is looking for a fullback who can step up as a second playmaker? Hopefully we can cut out the daft unforced penalties. Far too many in the 6N and the A team gave away a few against Chile.

  7. Why are we playing our best performing 12 (Rory Hutchinson) this season at fullback when we have the best performing 15 this season (Oli Smith) in the squad?

    Keep it simple for gods sake. Play the best player in their position. I won’t blame RH at all if he has a tough day at the office.

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    • I’d assume 1st choice FBs are Hogg, Jones, Hastings…. Smith is good but Hutchinson has that running game that can hurt teams. Johnson at 12 is sensible given the composition of this backine IMO

    • Because this is Townsend, who specialises in making sow’s ears out of silk purses.

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  8. I wouldn’t blame George Horne if he opted to play sevens rugby. What an acquisition he would be for the Scotland 7, although possibly too late for the Commonwealth Games.

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  9. Very interesting team selection, maybe GT sees Argentina kicking more, so having the mercurial Hutchinson at FB to pose a running threat makes sense.
    Simply need to get parity in the forwards to allow Kinghorn front foot ball, loads of running potential in the backline.

  10. The difference between club rugby and international is speed. However there is also instinct it’s why I think playing players out of position at international is essentially self defeating. I know Hutchinson has played 15 for Northampton but that’s club rugby. Lets hope Bennett has a good game he has done well to get back into the international game and on to Gregor’s radar. Lets go guys 3 wins essential.

  11. I’d have loved to see Hutcheson start at 12 with Bennett at 13. Hutch has been in great form for Northampton and is a playmaker. With the lines that Bennett would run off of him they could really carve it up. Feel that he is a little wasted at 15. If there are no injuries would be great to see Thompson come on, Kinghorn go to 15 and bring Hutcheson forward to 12.

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  12. Smith over Tuipolotu would have made much more sense. Centre covered by Hutchinson and back 3 by Hutchinson. Now if a back 3 goes down what’s the move? Moving the best 10 in the squad and disrupting the weeks worth of prep?

    Gray needs to buck up his ideas. Late season form was rotten.

  13. Certainly keep them guessing on the touch line with 5 potential jumpers. Looks like GT wants solidity up front with some hard ball carrying to set up a more expansive game plan behind. Let’s hope we can build a platform and score some tries off it as a tight goal kicking competition may not suit – we look short of a recognised kicker. That said, there’s an opportunity there for someone to make a name for themselves.
    Like the look of the team, going forward, but looking for a big defensive collective when it’s needed too.
    Fingers crossed we could win this series yet.

    • Very interesting team selection, maybe GT sees Argentina kicking more, so having the mercurial Hutchinson at FB to pose a running threat makes sense.
      Simply need to get parity in the forwards to allow Kinghorn front foot ball, loads of running potential in the backline.

  14. A great opportunity to look at players and try different combinations. The performance is probably more important than the result. Seems to be quite a few Scottish qualified players under the old system.

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  15. With MB outside him, hopefully SJ given more of a distributor briefing than trucker one he usually has. Back to when Huw Jones was at his best when he had this. Developing the point of difference from an attack pov with Harris for depth of options ahead of WC.

    Horne unlucky too. First test might have been chance for him to consolidate (or not) last weeks solid outing. BW a decent option and worthy of spot, but Horne more a point of difference perhaps.

  16. Intriguing, and does suggest that we will see many different combos tried out. Would like to have seen Hutchinson given a decent run at 12 (appreciate that he may still get that) plays closer to Redpath than SJ, hope that his flexibility isn’t his undoing. Competition in back row looking good, perhaps needs more at 8 though. Looking forward to it…

  17. Its an interesting selection. I dont think many fans forecast Hutchinson starting at full back but interesting to see how that work outs. I’m also a bit surprised with White partnering Thompson on the bench. I’d have put Horne in their as at least he’s played with Thompson before.

    In the forwards its interesting to see that Crosbie is in ahead of Darge and Watson but I can see Townsend trying out lots of combinations in the back row over the next 3 games.

    • I recall Townsend saying back (discussing the squad in the 6N?) that Hutcheson was considered as potential cover at 15 so I’m not surprised to see him there tbh. I’d prefer seeing him at 12 though and hope he gets a go there in one of the tests.

    • It’s a shame one of those options won’t be Muncaster. This really is an opportunity spurned to see what he can do – and he certainly has more potential that Crosbie.

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