Gilchrist to lead Scotland in first Pumas Test

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Grant Gilchrist  (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Grant Gilchrist (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)

Grant Gilchrist will captain Scotland for the first time since 2018 when he leads them out for the opening Test against Argentina in San Salvador de Jujuy on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Edinburgh lock won his 50th cap against Wales in February and takes over the mantle from Stuart Hogg who, along with flyhalf Finn Russell, has been rested for the tour.

Gilchrist will start the match alongside Jonny Gray in the second row while coach Gregor Townsend has handed Luke Crosbie his first start in the backrow, having captained the A side to a 45-5 win against Chile last weekend.

He will start alongside fellow Edinburgh flanker Magnus Bradbury with Glasgow Warriors No. 8 Matt Fagerson completing the loose forward trio.

In the absence of Racing 92's Russell, Blair Kinghorn keeps the fly-half jersey and continues his pairing with scrumhalf Ali Price which started in Scotland's last outing against Ireland in Dublin in March.

Left winger Duhan van der Merwe, who was suspended for the last two Six Nations matches, returns to the starting line-up while centre Mark Bennett begins a match for the first time since 2016 when he played against Georgia.

Northampton Saints' Rory Hutchison takes Hogg's place at fullback.

Scotland, who are making their first three-Test tour to Argentina, have won their last five meetings with the Pumas including a 44-15 win at Resistencia on their last trip to the country in 2018.

The Pumas, now coached by the Australian Michael Cheika, will be playing their first home Test since losing 46-13 to South Africa in Salta in August 2019.

Following Saturday's first Test in Jujuy on Saturday, they travel to Salta for the second Test a week later before closing with the final Test in Santiago Del Estero on July 16.

Scotland

15 Rory Hutchinson; 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Duhan van der Merwe; 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Ali Price; 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Luke Crosbie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist (capt), 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Rory Darge, 21 Ben White, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Sione Tuipulotu


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