Rugby

Scotland v Argentina: Finn Russell in the side, Jack Dempsey starts

Finn Russell (left) and Jack Dempsey have been named in Scotland’s squad to face Argentina
Event: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, November 19 Kick off: 15:15 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Finn Russell has been named in the Scotland side to face Argentina in the autumn test at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Emma, ​​the Racing 92 fly-half’s partner, is close to giving birth and the 30-year-old’s participation was in doubt.

Jack Dempsey replaces Hamish Watson, out with concussion, and will make his first start in one of two changes since the team that lost to New Zealand.

Lock Jonny Gray replaces his brother Richie after he was banned for dangerous play against the All Blacks.

Dempsey will pack in at the base of the scrum, meaning regular number eight Matt Fagerson will move to blindside winger and captain Jamie Ritchie to the open side.

The 28-year-old former Australia defender has come off the bench in every game in the Autumn Nations Series so far.

Russell was omitted from the original Autumn Test squad, but was recruited after an injury to Adam Hastings and again starts in place of Blair Kinghorn and Ross Thompson.

His partner is due to give birth this week in Paris, but head coach Gregor Townsend named him in the squad to face the Pumas in Scotland’s last game of the year.

“There was a period of the game where we put together some of the best rugby we’ve played in the last two years,” he said, highlighting “a lot of positives” that led to his selection decision.

Scotland narrowly lost to Australia and New Zealand and beat Fiji in their previous autumn tests, and Townsend expects the Pumas to be another tough challenge.

“They’re a very good team, they were really good in the summer and they kept up that form in the Rugby Championship and obviously had a crushing victory against England a few weeks ago,” the Scotland manager said.

“They are rightfully one of the best teams in world rugby at the moment.”

Argentina beat Scotland in a three-Test series in the summer, scoring a 2-1 win in Santiago del Estero with a dramatic last-minute try, but head coach Michael Cheika doesn’t think it has any influence on the team’s play. Saturday given the teams. The staff has changed since then.

Australia make four changes from the team that lost 20-13 to Wales in Cardiff.

Captain Julián Montoya returns as hooker in place of Agustín Creevy and is joined on the front row by Eduardo Bello, who replaces Francisco Gómez Kodela.

Bautista Delguy is on the wing in place of Mateo Carreras, while center Matias Orlando comes on for Matias Moroni, who falls to the bench.

Cheika is expecting a tough game as she says “Scotland is always a tough test, especially at Murrayfield.”

The head coach’s schedule has been particularly busy as he has coached the Lebanon rugby league team in the World Cup and has also led Argentina in their fall trials.

“I loved it, an experience I never thought I could have,” said Cheika, who played briefly with Townsend in Australia and says Scotland is a team created in the image of their manager. “It was about doing both things well, not just doing both things. There are a lot of new Argentinian Lebanese fans.”

Equipment

Scotland: pork; Graham, Harris, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Schoeman, Brown, Z Fagerson, Gray, Gilchrist, M Fagerson, Ritchie (capt.), Dempsey.

Replacements: Turner, Bhatti, Walker, Young, Christie, White, Kinghorn, Redpath.

Argentina: mallia; Delguy, Orlando, De la Fuente, Boffelli; S Carreras, Bertranou; Gallo, Montoya (captain), Bello, Alemán, Lavanini, González, Kremer, Matera.

Replacements: Ruiz, Tetaz Champarro, Medrano, Paulos, Isa, Bazán Vélez, Sánchez, Moroni.

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