Brown, De Luca back for Scotland
Brown, De Luca back for ScotlandSHARE
Kelly Brown will captain Scotland against Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Back row forward Brown, 31, returns after recovering from the leg injury which cut short his involvement in Scotland’s tour to South Africa in June.
It will be his 10th Test as Scotland captain and 59th cap overall.
He is one of six changes in personnel and two further positional switches from Scotland’s last match – the last-gasp 30-29 victory over Italy in the quadrangular tournament in Pretoria.
The modifications see Sean Maitland, Nick de Luca, Ruaridh Jackson, Ryan Grant and Ross Ford join Brown in the starting line-up with David Denton and Alasdair Strokosch listed in their more customary back row berths.
Two players who made their debuts in June, Glasgow Warriors wing Tommy Seymour and lock Tim Swinson, will make their first starts at Murrayfield, while De Luca returns to the international arena for the first time since last November, having spent the 2013 Six Nations Championship on the sidelines through injury.
Scotland head coach Scott Johnson, mindful of the team’s reputation as being “slow starters” at the outset of campaigns, told www.scottishrugby.org: “We are looking to the future and we’re also looking at people’s futures too.
“This selection is a first chance for some to put their hand up. We have a 22-months campaign pre-World Cup and one of the mantras is ‘this could be your last Test match’.
“It’s not a right to play for your country. You have to go out there and perform. It’s important that these guys who have got the jerseys go out and perform.”
Johnson described Japan – conquerors of Wales in June – as a “formidable” team who have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.
He added: “Saturday is a good chance for the players to show their wares. Japan are well-coached, have a great work ethic and really good knowledge of rugby now.”
Scotland: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 Kelly Brown (captain), 6 Al Strokosch, 5 Al Kellock, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Al Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Richie Gray, 20 John Barclay, 21 Henry Prygos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Duncan Taylor.
Date: Saturday, November 9
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)