BORDERERS Darcy Graham and Rory Sutherland will start for Scotland against Italy in the opening game of The Famous Grouse Nations Series at Scottish Gas Murrayfield on Saturday

And former Southern Knight Rory Darge will lead Scotland for the first time

The 23-year-old Glasgow Warriors flanker earned his first Scotland cap against Wales in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations and has gone onto win another six since.

Darge has previous captaincy experience, leading the Scotland U20 team during the Under-20 Six Nations three years ago.

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Glasgow Warriors centre Stafford McDowall and Leicester Tigers second row Cameron Henderson are set to make their Scotland debuts.

Border Telegraph: Rory Darge PA WireRory Darge PA Wire (Image: PA Wire)

McDowall has previously made appearances for Scotland U18 and U20 and Henderson, who was born in Hong Kong but qualifies to play for Scotland through his Scottish dad, also featured for the national age-grade teams.

In the pack, loosehead prop Borderer Rory Sutherland has been selected along with tighthead Murphy Walker, with George Turner starting at hooker.

Sam Skinner and Scott Cummings come into the second row, with blindside flanker Luke Crosbie and No 8 Matt Fagerson joining Darge in the back row.

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Edinburgh Rugby’s new signing Ben Healy, who made his first appearance for Scotland during the final 2023 Guinness Six Nations match against Italy earlier this year, starts at stand-off alongside Ali Price at scrum half.

The backs see Kyle Steyn and Darcy Graham line up on the wings, joined by Chris Harris and debutant McDowell in the centre. Ollie Smith completes the starting 15 at full back having played in the most recent win over Italy in March.

The replacement bench contains a five-three split with Stuart McInally, Jamie Bhatti, Javan Sebastian, Henderson and Josh Bayliss in place to cover the forwards, and Jamie Dobie, Blair Kinghorn and Cameron Redpath named to bolster the backs.

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Scotland team to face Italy in The Famous Grouse Nations Series on Saturday 29 July at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, kick-off 3.15pm, live on Amazon Prime:

BACKS: 15. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) – Vice-Captain 12. Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors) 11. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 10. Ben Healy (Edinburgh Rugby) 9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors).

Forwards: Rory Sutherland (unattached) 2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 3. Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors) 4. Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice-captain 5. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 6. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 7. Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) – Captain 8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), 17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), 18. Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh Rugby), 19. Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers), 20. Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby), 21. Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors), 22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 23. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby)