Home debuts for Scots Seymour and Swinson

Glasgow duo Tommy Seymour and Tim Swinson are set to make their home Test debuts against Japan at Murrayfield.


The pair were both named in the starting side announced on Tuesday by coach Scott Johnson for Scotland’s opening international of the November programme on Saturday.

Seymour, a wing, and lock forward Swinson won two caps each during the pre-season tournament in South Africa, where Scotland lost to both Samoa and the Springboks before defeating Italy.

Flanker Kelly Brown, injured in South Africa, returns for his 10th Test as Scotland captain and 59th in total.

Johnson, wary of Scotland’s reputation as “slow starters”, said the team was “looking to the future”.

The Australian added he was looking to strike a balance between the immediate priority of a win over Japan and building a squad for the 2015 World Cup in England.

“This selection is a first chance for some to put their hand up. We have a 22-month campaign pre-World Cup and one of the mantras is ‘this could be your last Test match’,” Johnson said.

“It’s not a right to play for your country. You have to go out there and perform. It’s important that these guys who have got the jerseys go out and perform.”

Scotland also face South Africa and Australia in Edinburgh this month but Johnson, a former caretaker coach of Wales, insisted the Scots were not taking their first-up opponents lightly.

Japan beat Six Nations champions Wales, albeit weakened by British and Irish Lions calls, 23-8 in Tokyo in June and Johnson said they were a “formidable” team who have improved hugely in recent years.

“Saturday is a good chance for the players to show their wares. Japan are well-coached, have a great work ethic and really good knowledge of rugby now,” he added.

Scotland (15-1)

Sean Maitland; Tommy Seymour, Nick de Luca, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont; Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; David Denton, Kelly Brown (capt), Alasdair Strokosch; Alastair Kellock, Tim Swinson; Euan Murray, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant

Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Alasdair Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, John Barclay, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Duncan Taylor