Murray, Denton in for Scots

Scotland have made two changes from their starting side that lost to New Zealand and a further four alterations to their bench for Saturday’s against South Africa at Murrayfield.

Euan Murray comes back in at tighthead prop for Geoff Cross after missing Sunday’s Test for religious reasons. Meanwhile, David Denton, who replaced Ross Rennie against New Zealand, retains his berth in the backrow.

On the bench Dougie Hall is preferred to Scott Lawson, while Cross fills the void left by Allan Jacobsen, who is unavailable for personal reasons. Veteran John Barclay returns to the squad and 26-year-old Peter Murchie could debut off the wood.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: ‘We know we’re in for a bruising battle against South Africa this weekend and we will be primed for that physical confrontation.

‘But we also have to be smart in how we approach this game and do our utmost to ensure we get on the front foot and get the result that will move us into the top eight in the IRB world rankings ahead of next month’s 2015 Rugby World Cup draw.

‘I was pleased with Euan’s contribution both at scrummage and in open play during the summer tour, while David Denton’s aggressive carrying is something that really gets the crowd going.

‘Dougie Hall has had a good season for Glasgow and I know that John Barclay has been one of our most consistent and reliable back-row forwards since he made his debut five years ago.

‘Peter Murchie is another who has had a fine start to the season with Glasgow and his desire to dominate in aerial combat has been a factor in selection.’

Scotland - 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Denton. 7 Kelly Brown (c), 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Subs – 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 John Barclay, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Peter Murchie