Scotland will field three new caps in their team for Saturday’s international against Samoa in Durban.
They are 24-year-old Edinburgh Rugby full-back Greig Tonks and the Glasgow Warriors duo, centre Alex Dunbar, 23 and hooker Pat MacArthur, 26.
In addition there are a further three uncapped players on the bench, Stevie Lawrie, Peter Horne and Duncan Taylor, while two players in the starting line-up have won a solitary cap each, Bath Rugby’s Tom Heathcote at stand-off and Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) at lock.
All in, there are five changes of personnel and one positional switch from Scotland’s last game – the narrow defeat away to France, which rounded-off the RBS 6 Nations Championship in March.
And there are eight survivors from the starting line-up that defeated Samoa in the sweltering heat of Apia last June.
In an interview with www.scottishrugby.org Scotland head coach Scott Johnson said: “We want to broaden the base and it (selection) gives us the perfect opportunity to see how these guys stand up in Test footy.”
Johnson ranked Scotland’s win in Samoa last year as a tremendous achievement and expects a fierce encounter this weekend.
“They have all the artillery coming for our game and we’re going out to compete on all fronts,” he said. “We have 25 Test matches available to us prior to the World Cup. I’ve said regularly that we’re not going to give Test jerseys away but we cannot be exposed to injury issues (come RWC) and the best way to prevent that is to give players opportunities.”
Scotland team to play Samoa in the Castle Lager Test Series at King’s Park, Durban on Saturday 8 June, kick-off 2.15pm local time (1.15pm BST)
15 Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped
14 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 76 caps, 9 tries, 45 points
13 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 12 caps, 1 try, 5 points
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby) 10 caps, 6 tries, 30 points
10 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby) 1 cap
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 18 caps, 2 tries, 16 conversions, 39 penalties, 159 points
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps
2 Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 53 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap
5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 52 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 32 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) CAPTAIN 57 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
8 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 21 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
16 Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped
17 Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks) 24 caps, 1 try, 5 points
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps, 1 try, 5 points
19 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester) 46 caps, 1 try, 5 points
20 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps, 1 try, 5 points
22 Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
23 Duncan Taylor (Saracens) uncapped.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland). Assistant referees Marius Jonker and Sindile Mayende (both South Africa). TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)