RYAN Wilson, the Glasgow Warriors back row, will captain Scotland for the first time as Gregor Townsend's men complete their Rugby World Cup preparations against Georgia at BT Murrayfield tomorrow. Townsend, who confirmed his 31 man squad for the global showpiece at Linlithgow Palace yesterday, makes 12 changes in all to the side which started the 44-10 against the same opponents at the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi last Saturday, with the starting XV all set to travel to Japan. Six of the eight replacements also have a place on the plane, where they are joined by two players who just missed out in the form of forwards Magnus Bradbury and Grant Stewart. That pair could yet be involved in the World Cup in the event of injury.

There is a place for Tommy Seymour and Scarlets No 8 Blade Thomson, who have completed the graduated return to play protocol for concussions sustained against France almost fortnight ago, while lock Jonny Gray will feature for the first time since sustaining a hamstring strain in pre-season.

An entirely new pack will take to the field from Saturday night, with Glasgow Warriors pair George Turner and Zander Fagerson combining with Ayrshire Bulls loosehead Gordon Reid in the front row. Glasgow Warriors lock Scott Cummings has been promoted from the bench to feature alongside the returning Gray, while back-row Jamie Ritchie completes the loose forwards alongside Wilson and Thomson.


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In the backs, Saracens centre Duncan Taylor combines with a Sam Johnson in a new-look midfield, Glasgow Warriors half-backs half Ali Price and Adam Hastings get their second chance to start together in the campaign, while Edinburgh’s Blair Kinghorn and Darcy Graham return to start alongside fit-again Seymour. There are no sightings of the likes of Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell, who are already in cold storage for the opener against Ireland on September 22.

“We’ve been together since the middle of June and Friday night is our final chance this year to play in front of our supporters," said Townsend. "It’s another opportunity for players to get valuable game time and build on what was a very good performance last weekend in Georgia. We are very aware that Georgia will be much improved after their first hit out of the season and they will know much more about how we play. We expect a very tough challenge and it will require an improved performance from our men to deliver a winning outcome."

"It’s a boost to have Jonny back in side for the first time since last season and for others, like Tommy, Blade and Duncan, to have made a return to full fitness, following their recent injuries. It’s also great to involve two players in our squad this weekend - Grant Stewart and Magnus Bradbury - who just missed out on selection to our group to travel to Japan. As with all those that didn’t make the 31-man squad, it's important they keep training and playing well in case they get a call up during the tournament.


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“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Scotland fans for their unprecedented levels of support this summer. We are looking forward to playing in front of another big crowd at BT Murrayfield. I'd also like to thank the players and management for their outstanding contributions throughout our World Cup camp. It’s a credit to their hard work and professionalism that the squad are in such great physical condition. Friday night gives us the opportunity to keep improving and get one step closer to playing our best rugby over the next few weeks."

Scotland team to play Georgia at BT Murrayfield Stadium

Friday 6 September (kick-off 7.30pm) – live on Premier Sports

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh); Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors); Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors). Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors, Capt), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Blade Thomson (Scarlets)

Substitutes: Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Gloucester)