After a comprehensive victory against Canada, Scotland will look to do the same against the United States.
Summer Tours: Scotland vs USA Preview
Scotland kicked off their 2018 Summer Tour with a comprehensive victory over Canada in Edmonton last week.
Coach Gregor Townsend named a young, inexperienced side but this mattered little as the men in blue romped away in the second half to secure a final score of 48 points to 10. In total they scored seven tries with George Turner scoring a hat-trick as Canada were outclassed in pretty much every respect.
But the United States will be more of a challenge for the Scots this weekend.
The USA are currently undefeated this year after defeating Argentina XV, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Russia, however they have not played anyone with the skill and class of Scotland up to this point.
Whats the big team news?
Gregor Townsend has made 12 changes for the Scotland team to face the USA later this week with Stuart Hogg coming in to captain the side after Grant Gilchrist dropped to the bench. There are three players who retain their spots in the starting lineup with Ben Toolis, Byron McGuigan and Blair Kinghorn starting again.
Additionally there are a number of debutants with George Horne and Matt Fagerson starting alongside their brothers Peter and Zander. They are the 48th and 49th brothers to play for Scotland and it is the eighth time that two sets of brothers will be on the field at the same time.
Luke Hamilton, Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Adam Hastings, and Lewis Carmichael all will make their first international starts in Houston.
Coach Gary Gold has stuck with the same XV that recently smashed Russia 62-13. There are also only two changes made to the bench with James Kilterbrand and Olive Kilifi, being replaced by Dylan Fawsitt and Titi Lamositele.
What have the coaches said?
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend: “We always planned to play as much of the squad as possible on this tour and we also deliberately picked more Edinburgh players in the first game because their season finished earlier.
“Now we welcome most of the Glasgow Warriors contingent into the team. On top of that, there are seven players making their first starts for the country, which is really exciting, and we are looking forward to them going out and grabbing this opportunity.
“The USA have won their last six games and scored a lot of points in the process. They’ve beaten two teams that have already qualified for the Rugby World Cup – Uruguay and Russia – and put 60 points on both of them.
“They are definitely improving as a team and are playing with a lot of confidence.
“You can see in the way they attack and defend that they are well coached, added to which there are some exceptional individuals that offer running threats throughout their side, so this will be a real test for us on Saturday.”
USA coach Gary Gold: “Despite a few early challenges, the chemistry of this group worked well last week—even though we’d only spent a relatively short amount of time together as a unit. We’ve had another week to build on our rhythm as a collective and grow in our individual roles which will undoubtedly help us against a quality side in Scotland.”
Any interesting statistics?
- Scotland have won their last five matches against the USA, the most recent of which came in 2015. Scotland won by 39 points to 16.
- Scotland’s team this weekend will feature 10 Glasgow Warriors players.
- Four of the past five games with Wayne Barnes refereeing, Scotland have had a forward sent to the sin-bin.
- George Horne and Adam Hastings played together five times this year for Glasgow and will play at 9 and 10 this weekend.
- USA have qualified for every World Cup apart from 1995, and did so this year with an 80-44 aggregate win over Canada.
When does it kickoff and is it on TV?
Like the Canada match last week, be prepared for an early start with the game kicking off at 02.00 in the morning on Sunday. The game will be televised on BBC.
What are the lineups?
SCOTLAND: Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), P Horne (Glasgow Warriors), McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), G Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Z Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Carmichael (Edinburgh), Toolis (Edinburgh), Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Hamilton (unattached), M Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors).
Replacements: Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Dell (Edinburgh), McCallum (Edinburgh), Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Denton (Leicester Tigers), Hidalgo-Clyne (Scarlets), Bennett (Edinburgh), Fife (Edinburgh).
USA: Hooley, Scully (C), Campbell, Lasike, Brache, MacGinty, Davies, Fry, Taufete’e, Mullen, Manoa, Civetta, Quill, Germishuys, Dolan,
Replacements: Fawsitt, Lamositele, Baumann, Peterson, Landry, Augspurger, Magie, Audsley
Who do you think will come away with the victory?
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