Grant Gilchrist to captain Scotland against Canada
Stuart McInally misses the tour through injury.
Grant Gilchrist will captain Scotland as they kick off their summer tour against Canada in Edmonton on Saturday.
The second row takes over the leadership responsibilities from Stuart McInally, who suffered a calf injury prior to the team flying out ahead of their three-Test tour, which also takes in games against the United States and Argentina.
Gilchrist, 27, was previously named Scotland captain by Vern Cotter having led the team on two Tests of their 2014 tour of the Americas and South Africa, but a broken arm forced him to miss the majority of the season.
BREAKING | Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist to lead Scotland v Canada this Saturday in the absence of injured hooker Stuart McInally.— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) June 6, 2018
➡ Debutants Jamie Ritchie & James Lang to start
➡ Lewis Carmichael & Adam Hastings to debut if called upon from the bench
Full story to follow.. pic.twitter.com/0yB5qWnnxs
Fraser Brown starts at hooker in place of McInally, who remains with the squad, while Jamie Ritchie will partner Edinburgh clubmate Magnus Bradbury in the back row as he makes his Scotland debut.
For Bradbury, it is a third appearance for the Dark Blues and a first since he was stripped of the Edinburgh captaincy last year following an off-field incident in Edinburgh, when he suffered a head injury during a fall on a night out, and he starts in the back row with David Denton.
Denton and Brown will be the only non-Edinburgh players in the pack after a fine season under Richard Cockerill, and head coach Gregor Townsend hopes that familiarity can pay off.
“It was going to be almost an Edinburgh pack,” he told Scottish Rugby. “Stuart McInally didn’t pass a fitness test so is not available this game and Fraser Brown steps in.
“Apart from David Denton, the rest of the players in that pack are from Edinburgh which is great for cohesion.
“The player in the pack winning his first cap, Jamie Ritchie, had a great end to the season and has been very consistent over the two or three seasons with Edinburgh.
“The way he carried the ball, his contact work in the last few games of the season was outstanding and we are looking forward to seeing him playing.”
James Lang will also be making his international bow in the centres, where he will line up outside half-backs Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Ruaridh Jackson who have the chance to impress at nine and 10 respectively while Chris Harris completes the midfield.
Lewis Carmichael and Adam Hastings are the only uncapped players on the bench, while Blair Kinghorn starts in his favoured position of full-back having broken into the team on the wing during the NatWest 6 Nations earlier this year, as Townsend offers opportunities to impress.