Stuart Hogg to captain Scotland as Gregor Townsend names side to face USA



Seven players will win their first caps for their country, while Hogg is set to make his debut as captain

Stuart Hogg will captain Scotland for the first time when they take on the USA in Houston on Saturday.

Dark Blues head coach Gregor Townsend has named a revamped starting XV following last weekend’s 48-10 win over Canada – with seven players set to win their first caps.

Hogg has established himself as one of the finest backs in the Northern Hemishpere

Hogg’s Glasgow team-mates Matt Fagerson and George Horne will make their international bows alongside their elder brothers, with back-row Fagerson joined by prop Zander and scrum-half Horne lining-up alongside inside centre Pete.

There will also be debuts for the Glasgow trio Jamie Bhatti, George Turner and Adam Hastings, as well as Edinburgh’s Lewis Carmichael and Luke Hamilton.

Townsend – who has changed all but three of the side that thrashed the Canadians in Edmonton last weekend – said: “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.

Townsend has revitalised the Scottish side since replacing Vern Cotter

Townsend has revitalised the Scottish side since replacing Vern Cotter

“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.”

The Edinburgh pair of Ben Toolis and Blair Kinghorn as well as Sale wing Byron McGuigan are the only players to retain their places at the home of MLS outfit Houston Dynamos.

Saturday’s match will be only the eighth time in close to 700 Scotland Tests when two sets of brothers have been on the field at the same time.

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