There is perhaps more intrigue to this game than simply two northern hemisphere nations taking each other on in the Autumn, a season usually reserved for lateral meetings rather than vertical.
Off the field, this week saw the two participating nations somehow managed to bungle the worthy element of this oddly-scheduled Test. They created a controversy over how and how much of the proceeds from the Doddie Weir Cup should go to the retired Scotland lock’s motor neurone disease research fund, before ultimately agreeing to contribute a joint six-figure sum after listening the the ‘rugby family’.
On the field, for Wales it is chance for returning players to tune up and others to impress. A record try-scorer for his country in sevens, Luke Morgan will make his international 15-a-side debut on the wing at the Principality Stadium as one of eight changes from the win over Argentina in June. On the other wing is club teammate George North, back in Wales with Ospreys, and lining up against the Scots off the back of five tries in six for his region. The 26-year-old apparently reaping the benefits of playing in a system designed to maintain his health.
There are also plenty of changes from last time out for Scotland, eleven in total. Backs Huw Jones and Tommy Seymour, and forwards Jonny Gray, WP Nel and Hamish Watson all starting. As does fly-half Adam Hastings, son of former Scotland international Gavin.
Scotland historically do not travel well to Cardiff, and despite much pre-match chatter were burned on their last visit to the Principality back in February. Wales coach Warren Gatland seems deliberately irked by the visitors failure to give his side credit for that 34-7 win.
“Scotland are talking about how they got the preparation wrong last February [when Wales won 34-7 at the start of the Six Nations]. It was not about a good Wales performance but how poorly they had prepared. That puts it into perspective for us,” he said. This will be a proper contest then.
L Halfpenny; G North, J Davies, H Parkes, L Morgan; G Anscombe, G Davies; N Smith, K Owens, D Lewis, C Hill, AW Jones (capt), D Lydiate, J Tipuric, R Moriarty. Replacements E Dee, R Evans, L Brown, A Beard, A Wainwright, T Williams, J Evans, S Evans.
Kinghorn; Seymour, H Jones, Dunbar, L Jones; Hastings, Price; Dell, McInally, Nel, Toolis, Gray, Ritchie, Watson, Wilson. Replacements Brown, Allan, Berghan, Gilchrist, Fagerson, G Horne, P Horne, Graham.