Scotland coach Gregor Townsend rings the changes ahead of Japan visit

Glasgow lock Scott Cummings makes first international appearance of the season

Gregor Townsend has made seven changes to his Scotland side for Saturday's fourth and final Autumn Test against Japan at Murrayfield.

Rufus McLean, Matt Scott, Pierre Schoeman, Matt Fagerson, Nick Haining, Sam Skinner and Stuart McInally all drop out of the XV that started last weekend’s 30-15 defeat by South Africa.

Jamie Bhatti, Scott Cummings, Hamish Watson, Josh Bayliss, Darcy Graham, Sam Johnson and George Turner are all added to the team as the Scots bid to round off an encouraging calendar year with a victory.

Glasgow prop Bhatti will make his first Scotland start since the warm-up match against France prior to the 2019 World Cup. His club-mate Bayliss, who made his debut as a replacement against Australia, is handed his first start for the national team at number eight.


Warriors lock Cummings makes his first international appearance of the season after injury, while hooker Turner is back after recovering from the injury he suffered against the Wallabies.

There is the possibility of debuts for two players named in the replacements, with Scarlets prop Javan Sebastian and Sharks backrow forward Dylan Richardson both in the matchday 23 for the first time.

Japan captain Pieter Labuschagne and lock James Moore both return from injury to strengthen the pack. They are among five changes to the team that beat Portugal 38-25 in Coimbra last weekend.

Labuschagne’s return means Kazuki Himeno moves from openside flanker to number eight, while there is also a swap at hooker where Atsushi Sakate replaces Kosuke Horikoshi. Moore replaces Naohiro Kotaki.

Among the backs, Yutaka Nagare comes in at scrumhalf in place of Kaito Shigeno while France-based Kotaro Matsushima starts on the wing after playing fullback in the 60-5 loss to Ireland in Dublin a fortnight ago. That means Dylan Riley drops to the replacements.

Shogo Nakano keeps his place at outside centre after his debut in last weekend’s win in Portugal.

SCOTLAND: Stuart Hogg (capt); Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Scott Cummings, Grant Gilchrist; Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Josh Bayliss.

Replacements: Stuart McInally,Pierre Schoeman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Dylan Richardson, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn.

JAPAN: Ryohei Yamanaka; Kotaro Matsushima, Shogo Nakano, Ryoto Nakamura, Siosaia Fifita; Rikiya Matsuda, Yutaka Nagare; Craig Millar, Atsushi Sakate, Asaeli Ai Valu; Jack Cornelsen, James Moore; Michael Leitch, Pieter Labuschagne (capt), Kazuki Himeno.

Replacements: Kosuke Horikoshi, Keita Inagaki , Shinnosuke Kakinaga, Ben Gunter, Tevita Tatafu, Naoto Saito, Yu Tamura, Dylan Riley.