Strauss, Nel to face Boks

South Africans Josh Strauss and WP Nel will start for Scotland against the Springboks in Newcastle on Saturday.

Coach Vern Cotter has made 11 changes to the side that beat the USA for the top-of-the-pool clash at St James' Park.

In a new front row, Nel is joined by hooker Fraser Brown and prop Gordon Reid, while lock Jonny Gray, who was rested against the USA, returns to start alongside brother Richie in the second row.

Openside flanker Blair Cowan will make his debut at the tournament after being drafted into the run-on XV ahead of John Hardie. In a positional switch, Strauss moves to blindside flank at the expense of Alasdair Strokosch, to accommodate the Zimbabwean-born Dave Denton at No 8.

In the backline, captain Greig Laidlaw returns at scrumhalf, where he'll partner flyhalf Duncan Weir, who replaces the injured Finn Russel. Richie Vermon and Matt Scott are preferred to Mark Bennett and Peter Horne in the midfield, and Tommy Seymour starts in place of Sean Maitland on the right wing. 

Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Dave Denton, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid.
Subs: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont.

Photo: Matt Lewis/Getty Images

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