Scotland v Fiji: Blair Kinghorn out as hosts make six changes

Blair Kinghorn drops to the Scotland bench for their visit to Murrayfield, Fiji after his costly penalty against Australia.
Blair Kinghorn drops to the Scotland bench for their visit to Murrayfield, Fiji after his costly penalty against Australia.
Meeting point: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, November 5 Inception: 13:00 GMT
Cover: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Stuart Hogg returns and Adam Hastings is preferred to Blair Kinghorn as Scotland make six changes for Saturday’s autumn Test against Fiji.

Hastings starts at number 10 after Kinghorn’s late penalty miss gave Scotland a run defeat by Australia last weekend.

Fullback Hogg replaces Ollie Smith for his first appearance since being replaced as captain by Jamie Ritchie.

Chris Harris, Cam Redpath, George Turner and Richie Gray also enter.

Head coach Gregor Townsend says Hastings and Kinghorn are both in contention to be first-choice for Scotland this month, with the Gloucester playmaker not selected for the starting Six Nations squad earlier this year, before missed the summer tour due to injury.

Finn Russell was completely left out of the fall assignment.

“Blair has played for us in that position for the last five games so it’s an opportunity for Adam to show how well he can fit in again at Test level,” Townsend said.

“We’re very loyal to Blair and how he’s progressing in this position. Adam played for us a couple of seasons ago and has returned to that form, and even surpassed that form.

“His game management has been outstanding this year.”

Outside of Hastings, Gloucester team-mate Harris and Baths Redpath, who last played together in 2021 as part of Scotland’s first win at Twickenham since 1983, join in the center at the expense of Sione Tuipulotu and Mark Bennett.

Lock Gray makes his first start for Scotland since 2017 and Turner is also drafted in at Hooker with the injured Dave Cherry and Sam Skinner out.

Murphy Walker could make his debut off the bench for Glasgow Warriors, while Ewan Ashman, Jonny Gray, Ben White and Rory Sutherland are also among the replacements along with Jack Dempsey, who bowed out in last weekend.

Fraser Brown was called into the squad following Cherry’s withdrawal but did not qualify for matchday 23.

“We have to deliver winning performances”

Scotland’s results have been inconsistent in 2022, with Australia’s defeat coming on the heels of a disappointing finish in the Six Nations and a series defeat to Argentina.

Former Scotland captain John Barkley said this week that there is “increased pressure” on Townsend and the squad to deliver victories.

“You can’t control other people’s opinions,” Townsend said.

“We are focused and I am focused on doing our job, which is to prepare the team as best as we can.

“There were a lot of positives at the weekend, given that we had two-thirds of our players available.

“Now the next three weekends, with everyone available, we have to put in winning performances, that’s why we’re here.”

Scotland: Stuart Hogg? Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Cameron Redpath, Duhan van der Merwe; Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie (capt), Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson.

Subs: Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, Murphy Walker, Jonny Gray, Jack Dempsey, Ben White, Blair Kinghorn, Sione Tuipulotu.

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