Hogg has chance to shine against Aussies

Stuart Hogg
Stuart Hogg
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Stuart Hogg will win his 46th cap for Scotland on Saturday against Australia at Murrayfield.

Head coach Vern Cotter has named his side to face the Wallabies, with a number of young guns set to feature.

However, former Hawick High pupil and Greens star Hogg will be a key man against Michael Cheika’s side as the Scots begin their three-game Autumn International series.

On the day Edinburgh Rugby hooker Ross Ford is set to earn his 100th cap, his clubmate Allan Dell will earn his first with a starting spot in the loosehead berth with once-capped 20-year-old tighthead prop Zander Fagerson.

Fagerson is one of three players to earn his first Scotland start at BT Murrayfield, with the scintillating form of Edinburgh Rugby back-row Hamish Watson and Stormers centre Huw Jones rewarded with a place in the back-row and midfield respectively.

The long-awaited fixture between the two nations is on target to be played in front of a home record crowd for the fixture, surpassing the previous highest attendance set more than ten years ago (64,120).

Cotter said: “It’s been eight months since we last played at home so the players are desperate to get out there and put in another winning performance in front of our home support.”

John Barclay and Ryan Wilson complete the loose forwards with the increasingly ever-present partnership of brothers Jonny and Richie Gray filing into the second-row.

In the backs, skipper Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell will reform their pivotal partnership – with Russell long-since recovered from the head injury that ruled him out of the summer Tests – while Alex Dunbar – another to miss the tour through injury – joins Jones in a new-look centre partnership.

The starting line-up is completed with the selection of Hogg, Tim Visser and Sean Maitland in the back three, with Tommy Seymour unavailable for personal reasons.

Another notable inclusion appears among the replacements with Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Ali Price set to make his debut if called upon from the bench.

Price is one of two players originally listed as ‘training with the squad’ to be given the nod by Cotter for this Saturday’s Test, with replacement wing Rory Hughes in line to make a first home appearance.

Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tim Visser, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Allan Dell, Ross Ford, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Moray Low, Grant Gilchrist, John Hardie, Ali Price, Pete Horne, Rory Hughes.

Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (capt), Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Lopeti Timani.

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Quade Cooper.