Preview: Scotland v Argentina

Scotland will want to put things right this weekend as they close out their Autumn Internationals with Argentina’s trip to BT Murrayfield.

Scotland will want to put things right this weekend as they close out their Autumn Internationals with Argentina’s trip to BT Murrayfield.

Gregor Townsend’s side suffered an agonising defeat at the hands of South Africa last time out in a contest that realistically could have gone either way, but a win against the Pumas would be salve to their wounds.

Josh Strauss comes in at No. 8 to make his first Scotland start since 2017, one of eight changes made by Townsend including six in the pack.

Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Simon Berghan form a new-look front row, while Grant Gilchrist comes in alongside Jonny Gray behind them and Jamie Ritchie starts at flanker.

Among the backs, Finn Russell is moved to inside centre to accommodate Adam Hastings at fly-half, with Blair Kinghorn making his first November start on the wing.

Huw Jones keeps his place at outside centre after his standout performance against South Africa, while skipper Greg Laidlaw continues at scrum-half.

Scotland face Argentina on Saturday at 2:30pm (GMT)

What they said:

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend: “With four Test matches in succession, we’ve been conscious of rotating the squad to enable as many players as possible to be in the best physical condition for each contest.

“We are expecting those selected this weekend to bring energy and huge effort to the game and seize the opportunity to perform at their best level against a very good team.

“It will be another huge challenge, not only for our forward pack, but also for our defence – as Argentina play ambitious, skilful and effective attacking rugby.”

Argentina winger Sebastian Cancelliere said: “It’s been a year of changes but besides the losses to Ireland and France we know we are in the correct path.

“These games we are using to improve our systems, but the spirit is good. We know it’s going to be difficult and we know we are playing against great nations.

“Scotland has improved a lot this year and had a great Six Nations (and) we know that this type of rugby is not Super Rugby but we trust in our system and if we do the things we say and we practise we are going to thrive.”

Key battle: the pack

With six changes to his forwards, including a fresh front-row, Townsend will need his new faces to click straight from the off if they are to get the better of the powerful Argentinians.

Traditionally one of rugby’s dominant forces at the set-piece, the Pumas struggled in the scrum as they fell to defeats against Ireland and France earlier this month.

Head coach Mario Ledesma, the legendary Argentinian hooker, will be relying on his side to turn things around against Scotland, while Townsend’s men will look to inflict further damage on their opponents.

Key stats:

– Argentina currently edge Scotland out in the side’s all-time head-to-head record, having won the fixture on nine occasions compared to Scotland’s eight.

– But Scotland have won four on the bounce against Saturday’s opponents, the most recent of which was a 44-15 humbling in Argentina.

– In three appearances against the Pumas as a Scotland player, Gregor Townsend never tasted victory.


Scotland: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Finn Russell, 11. Blair Kinghorn, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Allan Dell, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Grant Gilchrist, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Josh Strauss

Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Alex Allan, 18. WP Nel, 19. Sam Skinner, 20. Ryan Wilson, 21. George Horne, 22. Alex Dunbar, 23. Byron McGuigan

Argentina: 15. Emiliano Boffelli, 14. Bautista Delguy, 13. Matias Moroni, 12. Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11. Ramiro Moyano, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 9. Gonzalo Bertranou; 1. Santiago Garcia Botta, 2. Agustin Creevy, 3. Santiago Medrano, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 6. Pablo Matera (capt), 7. Rodrigo Bruni, 8. Javier Ortega Desio

Replacements: 16. Julian Montoya, 17. Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18. Lucio Sordoni, 19. Matias Alemanno, 20. Tomas Lezana, 21. Martin Landajo, 22. Matias Orlando, 23. Sebastian Cancelliere