Scotland vs Argentina: Finn Russell and Adam Hastings paired together as Gregor Townsend experiments

Regular first-choice fly-half Russell will move to inside centre and form an experimental partnership with former Glasgow Warriors teammate Hastings

Wednesday 21 November 2018 12:53
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Adam Hastings
Adam Hastings

Scotland will experiment with dual playmakers against Argentina on Saturday after Gregor Townsend named both Finn Russell and Adam Hastings in his side for the final autumn Test at Murrayfield.

Racing 92’s star No 10 Russell will shift to inside centre to allow his former Glasgow colleague Hastings to start at stand-off.

Townsend tried the partnership out briefly towards the end of this month’s eight-try demolition job on Fiji and hopes it will pay off again after the pair combined to set up Hastings for his first ever Scotland touchdown.

The 22-year-old Warriors fly-half’s inclusion is one of eight changes Townsend has made to the team which pushed South Africa close last weekend.

A new front row of Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Simon Berghan start, while lock Grant Gilchrist is joined in a new-look pack by flanker Jamie Ritchie and number eight Josh Strauss.

In the backs, Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn is also given a run-out on against the Pumas on the right wing.

Adam Hastings and Finn Russell will look to get Scotland back to winning ways

Scotland will be looking to repeat their record 44-15 trouncing of Argentina in Resistencia during the summer.

Townsend said: “While it was a great effort from the players to win in Argentina last summer, we are under no illusions as how different a prospect their team will be on Saturday.

“Under Mario Ledesma, Argentina delivered some outstanding performances and they were hugely impressive in their victories over South Africa and Australia in the recent Rugby Championship. I’m sure that they will throw everything at us to end their international season on a high note.

“With four Test matches in succession, we’ve been conscious of rotating the squad to enable as many players as possible to be in the best physical condition for each contest.

“We are expecting those selected this weekend to bring energy and huge effort to the game and seize the opportunity to perform at their best level against a very good team.

“It will be another huge challenge, not only for our forward pack, but also for our defence – as Argentina play ambitious, skilful and effective attacking rugby.”

Scotland team to face Argentina

Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Finn Russell, Blair Kinghorn; Adam Hastings, Greig Laidlaw; Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Simon Berghan; Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray; Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Alex Allan, WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Ryan Wilson, George Horne, Alex Dunbar, Byron McGuigan.

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