Re-instated: Nick De Luca returns to Scotland's centre thanks to good defensive form and an injury to Alex Dunbar

Re-instated: Nick De Luca returns to Scotland’s centre thanks to good defensive form and an injury to Alex Dunbar

DESPITE A last minute scramble with soon-to-be-director of rugby Scott Johnson jetting down to London to listen to a briefing from refereeing chief Joel Jutge and the IRB the Scotland team to face Japan has been announced.

With injuries to full-back Stuart Hogg and Alex Dunbar it is a fresh looking centre pairing while one possibly shocking drop comes from Richie Gray missing out in the second-row. It is understandable as Castres use more of a rotation system and Tim Swinson in particular is in good form.

However, as it is a game against Japan rather than South Africa, who visit Murrayfield next week, Johnson can afford to run an eye over some of the less experienced players or those who have not worn a thistle for a few weeks before taking away the chances and trying to beat Rugby Championship opposition.

On his side Johnson said: “We are looking to the future and we’re also looking at people’s futures too.

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

Scotland XV v Japan: Sean Maitland; Tommy Seymour, Nick De Luca, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont; Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Tim Swinson, Al Kellock, Kelly Brown (c), Al Strokosch, David Denton.

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