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Edinburgh prop Darryl Marfo will make his Scotland debut in Saturday’s autumn Test against Samoa at Murrayfield.

Hooker Stuart McInally makes only his fourth Test start in the absence of the injured Fraser Brown and Ross Ford.

Ben Toolis joins Jonny Gray in the second row, with fit-again Alex Dunbar and Huw Jones resuming at centre.

Three more players – Glasgow duo George Turner and Jamie Bhatti, and Newcastle centre Chris Harris – could make their Test debuts off the bench.

With Brown and Ford on a lengthy injury list, McInally makes his first appearance since the summer tour of Japan in 2016, with WP Nel getting the nod at tight-head over Zander Fagerson.

Three loose-head props – Alasdair Dickinson, Allan Dell and Gordon Reid – are are all missing, while new head coach Gregor Townsend must also do without Greig Laidlaw, Richie Gray, Sean Maitland, Duncan Taylor, Matt Scott and Adam Ashe for his first Test on home soil.

With Dunbar declared fit after returning for Glasgow in their Pro14 win over Leinster last weekend following knee surgery, Townsend fields an all-Warriors backline, including new recruit Huw Jones.

Wing Lee Jones joins British and Irish Lions Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour in the back three, with Ali Price and Finn Russell the half-backs.

In all there are nine Glasgow players in the starting line-up and 14 in the match-day 23, with number eight Ryan Wilson named as vice-captain to John Barclay, who continues as skipper after recovering from concussion issues.

Scotland’s most recent outing against Samoa was a thrilling 36-33 victory at the 2015 World Cup, the visitors having won only one of their 10 previous meetings, a 27-17 success in South Africa in 2013.

“We’re looking forward to playing three very good teams this autumn [they also play New Zealand and Australia] and Samoa will be a big challenge for us first up,” said head coach Townsend.

“Scotland-Samoa games have been tight affairs over the recent years and the recent Rugby World Cup game, which went right to the wire, is also still fresh in the memory.

“We have approached this game – like we will for all our games this season – knowing that to achieve success we will have to play close to our very best.

“Samoa are a very dangerous team with a number of top-quality players.”

Scotland XV: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Lee Jones, Finn Russell, Ali Price (all Glasgow Warriors); Darryl Marfo, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Ben Toolis (all Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Barclay (captain – Scarlets), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (vice-captain – Glasgow).

Replacements: George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson (all Glasgow), Cornell Du Preez (Edinburgh), Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne (both Glasgow), Chris Harris (Newcastle).

bbc

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