Scotland players warned 'this could be your last match'
November 5, 2013
Kelly Brown captains Scotland against Japan © Getty Images
Both featured on Scotland's tour of South Africa in the summer but will get their first taste of a Test atmosphere against the Brave Blossoms. Alongside Seymour and Swinson, British & Irish Lions tourists Ryan Grant and Sean Maitland start while Richie Gray is named on the bench.
The team is captained by Kelly Brown and Johnson admitted he was mindful of his team's reputation for being "slow starters" at the outset of campaigns and said: "We are looking to the future and we're also looking at people's futures too.
"This selection is a first chance for some to put their hand up. We have a 22-month campaign pre-World Cup and one of the mantras is 'this could be your last Test match'. It's not a right to play for your country. You have to go out there and perform. It's important that these guys who have got the jerseys go out and perform."
Meanwhile, 31-year-old Brown returns after recovering from the leg injury which cut short his involvement in Scotland's summer tour to South Africa. It will be his 10th Test as Scotland captain and 59th cap overall.
He is one of six changes in personnel and two further positional switches from Scotland's most recent match - the last-gasp 30-29 victory over the Azzurri. The modifications see Maitland, Nick De Luca, Ruaridh Jackson, Grant and Ross Ford join Brown in the starting line-up with David Denton and Alasdair Strokosch listed in their more customary back-row berths.
Johnson described Japan - conquerors of Wales during the summer - as a "formidable" team who have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. He added: "Saturday is a good chance for the players to show their wares. Japan are well-coached, have a great work ethic and really good knowledge of rugby now."
Scotland: Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Nick de Luca, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw, Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Tim Swinson, Al Kellock, Al Strokosch, Kelly Brown (c), David Denton
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Al Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, John Barclay, Henry Prygos, Duncan Weir, Duncan Taylor
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