Pyrgos to start for Scotland

Henry Pyrgos will make his full international debut agaisnt Tonga

Henry Pyrgos will make his full international debut agaisnt Tonga

First published in National Sport © by

Henry Pyrgos will make his first international start as one of five changes when Scotland go in search of a first victory of the EMC Test series against Tonga in Aberdeen on Saturday.

Head coach Andy Robinson has responded to the 21-10 defeat by South Africa by starting with Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Pyrgos, who impressed as a replacement for Mike Blair on Saturday at Murrayfield.

Blair, hooker Ross Ford and lock Jim Hamilton have been dropped from the matchday 23 altogether.

Scott Lawson starts in place of former captain Ford, with Alastair Kellock taking Hamilton's place in the second row alongside Richie Gray, who suffered concussion against the Springboks and will continue to be monitored.

Alasdair Strokosch, who was a late withdrawal from the starting XV due to a calf injury, returns in place of John Barclay, while Max Evans starts at outside centre, with Nick De Luca dropping to the bench.

Pyrgos has been promoted after Blair's intercept pass allowed South Africa hooker Adriaan Strauss to score his second try in the loss on Saturday.

The Glasgow number nine made an instant impact, scoring moments after entering the fray.

Rory Lawson returns as replacement scrum-half, having not played since the World Cup loss to Argentina in Wellington, and is joined on the bench by uncapped Inverness-born Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote.

Scotland team: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); S Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), M Evans (Castres), M Scott (Edinburgh), T Visser (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), H Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors); R Grant (Glasgow Warriors), S Lawson (London Irish), E Murray (Worcester Warriors), R Gray (Sale Sharks), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), A Strokosch, K Brown (Saracens, captain), D Denton (Edinburgh).

Substitutes: D Hall (Glasgow Warriors), K Traynor (Bristol), G Cross (Edinburgh), G Gilchrist (Edinburgh), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), R Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), T Heathcote (Bath), N De Luca (Edinburgh).

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