South Africa v Scotland: Adam Ashe to make Scotland debut

SOUTH AFRICA V SCOTLAND

  • Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
  • Date: Saturday, 28 June
  • Kick-off: 16:00 BST

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website

Glasgow Warriors number eight Adam Ashe will make his international debut on Saturday for Scotland against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.

The 20-year-old joined up with the squad last weekend after making his way from New Zealand where he was midway through a scholarship programme.

Ashe, who has yet to start a game for his club side, is the only new cap in the starting XV against the Springboks.

There are three other changes from the victory over Argentina in Cordoba.

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It's a massive challenge and it gives our boys an opportunity to lift their level

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter on the South Africa Test

Henry Pyrgos starts instead of Grayson Hart at scrum-half, Tim Swinson gets the nod at lock ahead of Warriors team-mate Jonny Gray and Chris Fusaro is promoted from the bench in place of Blair Cowan, who has returned home after featuring in the tour wins against USA, Canada and the Pumas.

Ashe, a product of the Hillfoots and Stirling County clubs, becomes the seventh new cap of Scotland's summer, following Hart, Cowan, Gordon Reid, Finn Russell, Alex Allan and Kevin Bryce.

A week ago he was preparing for training at Canterbury University in Christchurch, where he has been living for a few months as a recipient of the John Macphail Scholarship. 

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter said of Ashe: "He is a talented player and the reports of his form in New Zealand have been very positive.

"He's trained well with us and looked sharp. He is a specialist number eight and this is a golden opportunity for him."

Ashe, one of 10 Glasgow players in the starting line-up and 15 in the match-day 23, has played for Scotland at every age-grade level.

"South Africa will be a massive physical challenge but you have to relish a chance like this," he said.

Cotter called the match against South Africa "the benchmark", adding: "It's a massive challenge and it gives our boys an opportunity to lift their level.

"If we can make accurate choices in the way we play and impose our form of rugby then I think that will be a shift in the right direction.

"I've been pleased with the initiative that's developing within the team. We're starting to get good variety in our game. Now it's a matter of seeing if we can do it against very good opposition."

Scotland team to play South Africa

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors), Nick De Luca (Biarritz), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors); Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Geoff Cross (London Irish), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby, captain), Robert Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors).

Substitutes: Kevin Bryce (Glasgow Warriors), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Tyrone Holmes (Glasgow Warriors), Grayson Hart (Edinburgh Rugby), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby), Peter Murchie (Glasgow Warriors)