Stuart Hogg to captain Scotland against USA this weekend
Stuart Hogg will captain Scotland for the first time when they take on the USA in Houston on Saturday.
Head coach Townsend has changed all but three of the starting team to face USA in Scotland’s second summer tour Test at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Glasgow Warriors full-back Hogg will captain the side that features two starting debutants – Glasgow Warriors pair Matt Fagerson (back-row) and George Horne (scrum-half) – both of whom will make their first international appearances alongside elder brothers Zander and Pete.
Lock Ben Toolis, wing Blair Kinghorn (both Edinburgh) and Sale Sharks wing Byron McGuigan are the three players to retain their places in a side that will see a further five players make their first start for Scotland at the home of the Houston Dynamos.
They are Glasgow Warriors trio Jamie Bhatti (prop), George Turner (hooker) and Adam Hastings (fly-half), as well as Edinburgh lock Lewis Carmichael and back-row Luke Hamilton.
“We always planned to play as much of the squad as possible on this tour, and we also deliberately picked more Edinburgh players in the first game because their season finished earlier,” said Townsend.
“Now we welcome most of the Glasgow Warriors contingent into the team. On top of that there are seven players making their first starts for the country, which is really exciting, and we are looking forward to them going out and grabbing this opportunity.
“The USA have won their last six games and scored a lot of points in the process. They’ve beaten two teams that have already qualified for the Rugby World Cup – Uruguay and Russia – and put 60 points on both of them. They are definitely improving as a team and are playing with a lot of confidence.
“You can see in the way they attack and defend that they are well coached, added to which there are some exceptional individuals that offer running threats throughout their side, so this will be a real test for us on Saturday.”