Sam Johnson has been rewarded for helping Glasgow Warriors qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals with selection for his Scotland debut on Saturday.
The 25-year-old, who played in three of Glasgow’s Pool 3 games, is one of four Warriors backs in the Scots’ XV to face Italy at BT Murrayfield.
He partners clubmate Huw Jones in the centre, while other familiar faces for Johnson in the backs include full-back Stuart Hogg and wing Tommy Seymour. Warriors No.8 Ryan Wilson is also named in the Scotland side.
While Glasgow players dominate the Scotland backs, Edinburgh Rugby provide six of the Scotland pack including the complete front five, after they also qualified for the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals by topping Pool 5.
🏴 Gregor Townsend has named 8⃣ Glasgow Warriors players in his match day 23 for this Saturday’s Guinness 6 Nations opener against Italy at BT Murrayfield | 📰 FULL STORY ➡️ https://t.co/686NxfxTKm pic.twitter.com/8wxCRHymQa
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) January 31, 2019
Hooker and Scotland vice-captain Stuart McInally forms the front row with props Allan Dell and WP Nel, while they are backed up by clubmates Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist in the second row.
The sixth Edinburgh player in the forwards is flanker Jamie Ritchie and they also boast one of the backs in wing Blair Kinghorn, who has been an ever-present for Edinburgh in the Heineken Champions Cup so far this season, scoring two tries.
There are also three Warriors on the bench in prop Jamie Bhatti, scrum-half Ali Price and fly-half Adam Hastings, plus one Edinburgh player in prop Simon Berghan.
Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell, who has starred for the French club in their qualification for the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition as Pool 4 winners, is again Scotland’s No.10.