Scotland tour: George Horne and Matt Fagerson to make USA debuts

Only three men keep their places from the team that beat Canada - lock Ben Toolis, left-winger Byron McGuigan and Blair Kinghorn

Stuart Hogg and George Horne
Stuart Hogg and George Horne training at the Houston Sports Park on Tuesday. Image ©Fotosport/David Gibson.

By Stuart Bathgate

In Houston

TWO pairs of brothers will represent Scotland in Saturday’s match against the United States, with scrum-half George Horne and No 8 Matt Fagerson making their Scotland debuts and being joined in the starting line-up by inside centre Pete Horne and tighthead prop Zander Fagerson. Lock Lewis Carmichael and stand-off Adam Hastings will make their first starts, while Stuart Hogg will captain the team.

Only three men keep their places from the team that beat Canada 48-10 four days ago – lock Ben Toolis, left-winger Byron McGuigan and Blair Kinghorn, who moves from full-back to the right wing. Fraser Brown, who was taken off injured during that game in Edmonton, has recovered sufficiently to take a place on the bench, with George Turner starting at hooker. Tour skipper Stuart McInally is again omitted, but is reportedly improving from the calf strain which has kept him out so far and should be available to play against Argentina a week on Saturday.

The selection is in line with head coach Gregor Townsend’s pre-tour plan of fielding a lot of Edinburgh players in the first match and bringing Glasgow players back into the side for the second. Besides Turner, Hogg, the Hornes and the Fagersons, the Warriors are also represented in the starting line-up by outside centre Nick Grigg, loosehead prop Jamie Bhatti and Tim Swinson, who moves from his usual position of lock to play at blindside. Luke Hamilton, who is still officially unattached after his Leicester Tigers contract ended recently, is at openside.

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Brothers in arms

The Hornes and Fagersons will become the 48th and 49th brothers to represent Scotland together, but it will not be the first time that two pairs of siblings have been on the field in the same match. Sean and Rory Lamont and Max and Thom Evans were all involved in the 2010 Six Nations match against Wales, with Max coming off the bench a short time before his brother was taken off injured. The last time two sets of brothers began a Scotland Test was against England in 2001, when the Leslie brothers, Martin and John, were joined by the Bulloch brothers, Gordon and Alan.

Scotland (v USA in Houston, Saturday 8pm local time, Sunday 2am BST): S Hogg; B Kinghorn, N Grigg, P Horne, B McGuigan; A Hastings, G Horne; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, L Carmichael, B Toolis, T Swinson, L Hamilton, M Fagerson. Substitutes: F Brown, A Dell, M McCallum, G Gilchrist, D Denton, S Hidalgo-Clyne, M Bennett, D Fife.

The Keith Russell Affair:

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Stuart Bathgate
About Stuart Bathgate 364 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.