Gregor Townsend makes seven changes to Scotland's line-up for Japan clash

Gregor Townsend before Scotland v Tonga match in 2021 autumn internationals Gregor Townsend’s Scotland side face Japan in their fourth and final autumn Test (Steve Welsh/PA)

Gregor Townsend has made seven changes to his Scotland side for Saturday’s fourth and final Autumn Test against Japan at Murrayfield.

Rufus McLean, Matt Scott, Pierre Schoeman, Matt Fagerson, Nick Haining, Sam Skinner and Stuart McInally all drop out of the XV that started last weekend’s 30-15 defeat by South Africa.

Jamie Bhatti, Scott Cummings, Hamish Watson, Josh Bayliss, Darcy Graham, Sam Johnson and George Turner are all added to the team as the Scots bid to round off an encouraging calendar year with a victory.

Glasgow prop Bhatti will make his first Scotland start since the warm-up match against France prior to the 2019 World Cup. His club-mate Bayliss, who made his debut as a replacement against Australia, is handed his first start for the national team at number eight.

Warriors lock Cummings makes his first international appearance of the season after injury, while hooker Turner is back after recovering from the injury he suffered against the Wallabies.

There is the possibility of debuts for two players named in the replacements, with Scarlets prop Javan Sebastian and Sharks back-row forward Dylan Richardson both in the matchday 23 for the first time.

Scotland team to face Japan

Forwards: 1 Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), 2 George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), 3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), 4 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), 5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), 6 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), 7 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby), 8 Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby)

Backs: 9 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), 10 Finn Russell (Racing 92), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors), 12 Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), 13 Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby), 14 Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby), 15 Stuart Hogg (CAPTAIN, Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), 17 Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), 18 Javan Sebastian (Scarlets)*, 19 Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), 20 Dylan Richardson (Cell C Sharks)*, 21 Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), 22 George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), 23 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby)

*Denotes uncapped player

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