Van der Walt debuts as seven stars selected for Ireland test
Stand-off Jaco var der Walt will make his international debut after being named in Scotland's starting XV for this Saturday's Autumn Nation's Cup third place play-off against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium (Saturday 5 December, kick-off 2:15pm).
Van der Walt goes straight into Scotland's starting line-up after being called into the squad last week and is one of seven Edinburgh stars selected for the trip to Dublin.
Edinburgh wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham start on opposite flanks, while Rory Sutherland returns from injury and gets the nod at loosehead prop.
Back-row Jamie Ritchie switches to openside flanker and is once again named vice-captain by Head Coach Gregor Townsend.
Meanwhile, front-row duo WP Nel and Stuart McInally are named among the replacements as Scotland look to end a 10 year run without a win in Ireland.
Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “We’ve been together for the past two months and from a coaching perspective it has been a real joy seeing the group come together and work so hard to improve both individually and collectively. We are looking forward to facing Ireland in what will be an opportunity to continue our progress away from home once again.”
“We have been impressed with Jaco over the time he has trained with us and we’re excited to see him take the next step into international test match rugby. It will be a tough challenge over in Ireland, given the quality of our opposition and how they will be looking to end 2020 on a positive note.
“Being able to bring back Rory Sutherland after his recent injury is a real boost, and it’s great to involve Blair and Huw for the first time this season. If they get on the field, 39 players will have had opportunities to play over the past 5 games, which underlines the current player depth throughout Scottish rugby and shows the competition there is for places now in this Scotland team.”
Scotland team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, 2020 Autumn Nations Cup
Saturday 6 December (kick-off 2.15pm) – live on Amazon Prime Video
15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 79 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 14 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 22 caps
12. Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 27 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
10. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 0 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 36 caps
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 10 caps
2. Fraser Brown VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 53 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 33 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 60 caps
6. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 8 caps
7. Jamie Ritchie VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 8 caps
16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 40 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
18. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 39 caps
19. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 9 caps
20. Blair Cowan (London Irish) – 17 caps
21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Exeter Chiefs) – 13 caps
22. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps
23. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 49 caps