Scotland head coach Frank Hadden has made seven changes to the side which started against Argentina in the team's last Test ahead of Saturday's Murrayfield meeting with New Zealand.
In the pack he has gone for experience, with Jason White, Simon Taylor and Nathan Hines – all capped more than 50 times for their country – being recalled after missing Scotland’s summer trip to South America.
None of the trio have had the kind of build-up they would have wanted – White has only played a handful of games for Sale Sharks so far this season; Taylor, who has been picked at number eight, has been deployed mainly in the second row for Stade Francais; and Hines has only recently returned from a 30-day suspension in France for stamping.
However Hadden believes that White in particular, who has been selected ahead of the impressive Alasdair Strokosch, brings the sort of know-how and rugged fighting quality which will be needed at the weekend.
“It was a tough decision because we have slowly but surely developed competition for places,” he said.
“We were looking for the sort of physicality that we are confident Jason can bring every time he steps on the rugby pitch. We have a young squad and the experience he brings is vital as well.”
Behind the scrum Hadden has gone for an all-Edinburgh midfield, with half-backs Mike Blair and Phil Godman lining up alongside the youthful Edinburgh centre partnership of Nick De Luca and Ben Cairns.
Glasgow’s Thom Evans, who picked up his first cap in Argentina, is selected on the right wing, with Sean Lamont – who has missed Scotland’s last seven games with a knee injury – and Chris Paterson providing the experience in the three-quarter line.
“Obviously we missed Sean Lamont when he was out because he knows his way to the whitewash, and there is no substitute for these sorts of guys,” said Hadden.
“Thom Evans is in a rich seam of form at the moment and is scoring tries for fun.
“Having guys like Nikki Walker and Simon Webster not available is a measure of the progress we have made in competition for places.”
On the bench, Hadden has not yet decided between Rory Lawson of Gloucester and Mark McMillan of Glasgow as replacement scrum-half.
Hadden said: “Rory has made a quicker than expected recovery from the rib injury he sustained last weekend, so much so that we are waiting a day or two to see if he is going to be fit or not.”
C Paterson (Edinburgh); T Evans (Glasgow Warriors), B Cairns (Edinburgh), N De Luca (Edinburgh), S Lamont (Northampton); P Godman (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), N Hines (Perpignan), J Hamilton (Edinburgh), J White (Sale Sharks), S Taylor (Stade Francais), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors).
D Hall (Glasgow Warriors), A Dickinson (Gloucester), M Mustchin (Edinburgh), S Gray (Northampton), R Lawson (Gloucester) or M McMillan (Glasgow Warriors), D Parks (Glasgow Warriors), H Southwell (Edinburgh).