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Autumn Nations series

Townsend plans are hit by injuries to Scots duo

Fraser Brown

Out: Fraser Brown (pic: SNS Group)

Scotland will kick-off their Autumn Nations series against Tonga this weekend shorn of the services of Fraser Brown and Mark Bennett.

Glasgow hooker Brown and Edinburgh centre Bennett had been hoping to be involved at Murrayfield on Saturday but will now have to watch from the sidelines.

Both players are nursing knee injuries, and Bennett will be particularly disappointed with his misfortune as he had been set to win his first cap in more than three years.

Edinburgh pair Magnus Bradbury and David Cherry have been called up by head coach Gregor Townsend, who named 11 uncapped players in his original 42-man squad for the series, which will see Scotland in action on four successive weekends.

After facing the powerful Tongans, the Scots host Australia (November 7), South Africa (November 13) and then Japan (November 20) in Edinburgh.

Saturday’s fixture is the only one of the four which has yet to sell out.

“Tonga play physical rugby so it’s definitely up my street,” said prop Zander Fagerson. “They’re going to bring very direct running routes.”

Kick-off at Murrayfield is 2.30pm.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: Ewan Ashman, Josh Bayliss, Jamie Bhatti, Dave Cherry, Luke Crosbie, Rory Darge, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Nick Haining, Rob Harley, Jamie Hodgson, Oli Kebble, Murray McCallum, Stuart McInally, Dylan Richardson, Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner, Pierre Schoeman, Rory Sutherland, Marshall Sykes, George Turner, Hamish Watson.

Backs: Magnus Bradbury, Darcy Graham, Jamie Dobie, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Damien Hoyland, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe, Rufus McLean, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Matt Scott, Kyle Steyn, Ross Thompson, Sione Tuipulotu.

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