Scotland have made five changes from the team that started against South Africa for Saturday’s EMC Test against Tonga in Aberdeen – but retain Worcester prop Euan Murray in the front row.
Head coach Andy Robinson has also made four changes on the bench as Scotland seek to protect their 100% winning record at their northern citadel in front of an expected capacity crowd.
The changes in the team see Max Evans return at outside centre to the stadium where he won his first cap four years ago. He replaces Nick De Luca who is on the bench.
Henry Pyrgos, who scored Scotland’s try against South Africa last weekend, is handed the starting jersey at scrum-half for the first time instead of Mike Blair, while Scott Lawson will begin his first international since August 2011 at hooker rather than Ross Ford.
At lock, Alastair Kellock gets the nod over Jim Hamilton to win his 47th cap, while in the back-row Alasdair Strokosch is restored from the calf injury that prevented his involvement against the Springboks.
On the bench the uncapped Edinburgh Rugby lock Grant Gilchrist – a recipient of the 2011 John MacPhail Scholarship – is nominated in a Scotland match-day 23 for the first time, as is the uncapped 20-year-old Bath Rugby stand-off Tom Heathcote.
Scotland team (sponsor RBS) to play Tonga:
15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps, 1 try, 5 points
14 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 70 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
13 Max Evans (Castres) 31 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 6 caps
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby) 4 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
10 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 12 caps, 2 tries, 11 conversions, 17 penalties, 83 points
9 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps, 1 try, 5 points
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
2 Scott Lawson (London Irish) 35 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 48 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Richie Gray (Sale Sharks) 26 caps, 1 try, 5 points
5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 46 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 29 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) CAPTAIN 51 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
8 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps
16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors) 38 caps, 1 try, 5 points
17 Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby) 3 caps
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps, 1 try, 5 points
19 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped
20 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 40 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
21 Rory Lawson (Newcastle Falcons) 30 caps
22 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby) uncapped
23 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby) 37 caps, 1 try, 5 points