GREGOR TOWNSEND has made seven changes to the starting XV from last weekend”s match against South Africa ahead of Saturday’s final outing of Scotland’s Autumn Test Series against Japan at Murrayfield.
Meanwhile, Scarlets tight-head prop Javan Sebastian, and Cell C Sharks back-row Dylan Richardson – who both qualify to play for Scotland through their fathers – are set to make international debuts off the bench.
In the pack, George Turner returns from a rib injury at hooker, Jamie Bhatti swaps into the starting XV from the bench at loose-head prop, Scott Cummings comes back from an arm injury in the second-row, Hamish Watson is recalled at open-side flanker and Josh Bayliss will make his first start (picking up his second cap) at No8.
Behind the scrum, Darcy Graham replaces Rufus McLean on the right wing and Sam Johnson takes over from Matt Scott at inside centre.
“We have had a positive week as a squad and want to close out our Autumn Nations Series campaign with an improved performance against a Japan side we expect to challenge us from the outset on Saturday,” said Townsend.
“This group of players have another opportunity to represent their country this weekend and show the progress we have made as a group over the past four weeks.
“The Autumn Series has been a great opportunity for us to test the depth of our squad and also build on the performances of our Six Nations campaign.
“Last Saturday’s defeat was a valuable – if painful – learning experience for us, and we’ve been encouraged by how well the squad has trained this week in response to the loss against South Africa.
“We know how much a winning performance can lift our nation and we will be giving everything for our supporters at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has recalled fit again captain Pieter Labuschagne at open-side, James Moore in the second-row, the experienced scrum-half Yutaka Nagare and winger Kotaro Matsushima to his team for Saturday’s match.
Scotland (v Japan at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 20th November @ 1pm): S Hogg©; D Graham, C Harris, S Johnson, D van der Merwe; F Russell (VC), A Price; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, G Gilchrist, J Ritchie(VC), H Watson, J Bayliss. Substitutes: S McInally, P Schoeman, J Sebastian, S Skinner, D Richardson, M Fagerson, G Horne, B Kinghorn.
Japan: R Yamanka; K Matsushima, S Nakano, R Nakamura, S Fifita; R Matsuda, Y Nagare; C Millar, A Sakate, A Valu, J Cornelsen, J Moore, M Leitch, P Labuschagne©, K Himeno. Substitutes: K Horikoshi, K Inagaki, S Kakinaga, B Gunter, T Tatafu, N Saito, Y Tamura, D Riley.