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Scotland v Tonga 2021: date, kick off time, team news and prediction of rugby union autumn international match

Scotland welcome Tonga to Murrayfield as Gregor Townsend’s side get their 2021 Autumn International series underway

<p>Scotland face Tonga at Murrayfield in the first of the 2021 rugby union autumn internationals with Jamie Ritchie and Ali Price as co-captains for the Scots </p>

Scotland face Tonga at Murrayfield in the first of the 2021 rugby union autumn internationals with Jamie Ritchie and Ali Price as co-captains for the Scots

The 2021 rugby union autumn internationals kick off this weekend with Scotland starting their series against Tonga in Edinburgh.

It will be the first time the Pacific Islanders have played at ‘the Home of Scottish Rugby’ in 20 years and a first meeting of the two nations since they faced of at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park in 2014.

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The Scots will start the match as favourites despite fielding a heavily depleted side, which is missing a number of star players due to the test falling outside of the established international window.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match:

Finn Russell of Scotland tackle by Tukulua Lokotui and Elvis Taione of Tonga during the autumn test international match at Rugby Park on November 22, 2014 in Kilmarnock, Scotland

When is Scotland v Tonga? Dates, kick off time and venue

The 2021 Autumn Internationals begin with Scotland v Tonga at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, October 30.

The match is scheduled for a 3:30pm (BST) kick off and tickets are still available with the SRU offering a number of discounted packages.

The match will be the first of four autumn tests for Gregor Townsend’s men as they get set to also face Australia, South Africa and Japan in the coming weeks.

How to watch Scotland v Tonga

Scotland v Tonga will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime.

The streaming service have the rights to show 17 out of the 25 autumn internationals in 2021 including all four Scotland tests matches and is available for £7.99 per month after a 30 day free trial.

The subscription also includes many other exclusive Amazon services.

Scotland v Tonga team news

Scotland will be missing several important players for the match including captain Stuart Hogg and fly-half Finn Russell.

As the match is played outside of the established international window, club sides are not obliged to release their players for selection and outfits in England and France have taken up that option.

Gregor Townsend still has a number of experienced players to call upon from Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors though and will be co-captained by flanker Jamie Ritchie and scrum-half Ali Price.

Meanwhile, their are debuts for five uncapped players in the starting XV with a further four expected to earn thier first cpas from the bench.

Scotland team to face Tonga: Darcy Graham; Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson, Rufus McLean; Blair Kinghorn, Ali Price; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Jamie Hodgson, Rob Harley, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson. Replacements: Stuart McInally, Jamie Bhatti, Oli Kebble, Marshall Sykes, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson.

Meanwhile, Tonga also hand a number of debuts out in their squad.

Tonga team to face Scotland: Loni Uhila, Maile Ngauamo, David Lolohea, Halaleva Fifrta, Setofano Funaki, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Fotu Lokotui, Valentino Mapapalangi, Sonatane Takulua, Kurt Morath, Walter Fifita, Vaea Vaea, Mailetoa Hingano, Atunaisa Manu, James Faiva. Replacements: Siua Maile, Jethro Felemi, Toma Taufa, Dan Faleafa, Onehunga Havili, Mateaki Kafatofu, Aisea Halo, Navarre Haisila.

Scotland v Tonga - prediction

Despite missing some star players, Scotland should still see this one out comfortably.

It will serve as a great opportunity for the new caps and fringe players to nail down a position in the starting XV for the upcoming tests against Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

However, the Tongan’s shouldn’t be taken for granted and will be sure to cause a few problems for Gregor Townsend and the Scots at Murrayfield.

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