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Scotland’s Sam Johnson returns for Georgia Test | Rugby Union News

Last Updated: 29/08/19 3:21pm

Sam Johnson scores for Scotland against England

Centre Sam Johnson will start for Scotland when they take on Georgia on Saturday.

The centre suffered an ankle injury during Scotland’s summer camp but will start in Tbilisi on Saturday.

Johnson will line up in the midfield alongside Rory Hutchinson, who will make his first international start.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made 10 changes to the team that beat France on Saturday with Blair Kinghorn, Allan Dell and Matt Fagerson also making their first starts of the season.

Hooker Stuart McInally returns to start the match and will captain the side once again, having done so in the opening Test against France in Nice, while the team also features first campaign starts for full-back Blair Kinghorn, prop Allan Dell and No 8 Matt Fagerson.

Wing Darcy Graham replaces the injured Tommy Seymour, with Sean Maitland remaining on the other flank of the back-three. Returning half-backs Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell complete the back division.

In the pack, prop Willem Nel starts again on the tighthead side alongside Dell and McInally in the front row, while second and back-row forwards Grant Gilchrist and John Barclay have been promoted from the bench to start.

Hamish Watson was man of the match against France last time out

Lock Ben Toolis comes into the squad to start alongside Gilchrist, while last weekend’s man of the match, Hamish Watson, returns to link up with Barclay and Fagerson in the loose forwards.

“We’re pleased to welcome Sam (Johnson) back into the side, having performed so well for us in the spring, while a number of other players also get the opportunity to build on Saturday’s performance,” said Townsend.

“There were improvements in our back-to-back games against France, in particular in defence, game management and at scrum, as well some elements of our attack.

“All of these will be put to the test against a very good Georgian side who we expect to be extremely motivated by their passionate home support.

“We’re expecting a very physical and confrontational encounter, which will be a great test for our squad. In order to rise to this challenge, we must take the game to our hosts right from the start, playing with relentless effort and accuracy.”

Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Rory Hutchinson, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 1 Allan Dell, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 3 Willem Nel, Ben Toolis, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 John Barclay, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Matt Fagerson.

Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Huw Jones.

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