IT is time for the final roll of the dice for Gregor Townsend, the Scotland head coach, as he mixes the tried and tested with the raw and inexperienced for the last game on tour.

In some positions, he could have played safe but has gone with the adventurous option; in others, he could have gone with the next generation but has stuck with the older heads.

A lot stems from the big development of the week, from his point of view, that Stuart McInally, the tour captain, is, at long last, over the calf injury he picked up the day before the party left Scotland and goes straight back into the front row to lead the side against Argentina.

That could have left him with three fit hookers, one of whom would have been left kicking his heels in the stands while the other two took their places in the matchday 23, but Townsend has a way out of that conundrum; play one of them out of position in the back row.

To be fair, Fraser Brown has done a job at flanker for Townsend before, but never from the start in a Test match. He has moved to openside in games because of injuries and twice come off the bench to play there, most recently last weekend in the Houston defeat, but this is his first shot in the Scotland No.7 shirt.

"It became a decision, not a couple of days ago but several weeks ago, that when we go to Argentina, what happens? Does Stuart McInally play 60 minutes or 80 minutes like he did in the Six Nations this year and Fraser, who’s an excellent hooker, doesn’t get on the field or gets a small period? Or can he help us in another position?

"We got that glimpse of what he can do off the bench last week. It wasn’t something we had planned, but with Luke [Hamilton] getting injured, we thought, ‘right, here’s our chance.’

"He knew he was potentially going to play seven at some point on the tour, and with his first tackle he drove their hooker, who was having a great game, straight back.

"He was over ball, he’s one of the best in our squad at forcing turnovers and capturing ball. Stuart [McInally] is also very good at that, it’s an area where we know we have to be strong this weekend."

As an openside, Brown is better as a jackling, turnover specialist than any of the other options in the squad. That was badly missed against the USA, where they had hardly any turnover ball to use and could do little to slow the opposition possession.

It is a role Brown is familiar with, having played a couple of seasons there while he was recovering from the neck injury that threatened to scupper his professional career. For all that, he has limited recent experience there, though Townsend maintains that the two positions are so similar that, apart from the work in the scrum and lineout throwing, they are interchangeable.

Townsend's other big call was to leave the half-backs alone from last week, giving Adam Hastings his third cap at fly-half and George Horne his second at scrum-half.

Again, he had more experienced options but reckoned that both deserved another go. "We did have an option to move Peter Horne, but the Duncan Taylor injury influenced our decision," Townsend admitted.

"Adam grabbed his opportunity against Canada and did some really good things against America. Yes there’s going to be mistakes, yes there’s going to be times when he can’t influence the game, especially when we’ve given away a couple of penalties and are defending lineout drives in our 22.

"We feel it’s really important for his development, and our development as a team, to give him another opportunity in an even bigger game.

"We hope that with Adam [Hastings] and Ruaridh [Jackson], the experiences they’ve had on this tour will give them a boost going into next season so they can go out and grab the opportunity."

The other big call was to leave Mark Bennett out of the 23 altogether, with Nick Grigg starting while James Lang and Chris Harris take the bench roles.

Up front, however, he has stuck with the tried and tested just as he did in the opening game against Canada. Five of the forwards play for Edinburgh, with the experience of Tim Swinson earning him the nod over Ben Toolis and David Denton joining Brown in the back row.

"Argentina were in the semi finals of the World Cup just three years ago, they have a huge pack, very physical, plus the ability to play an all-round game now, not just one that will just test you up front," Townsend observed.

"Any team playing at home, you expect a very good performance. A team coming off the back of a defeat, a series defeat to Wales, will play with a lot of passion."

Scotland: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); D Fife (Edinburgh), N Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), P Horne (Glasgow Warriors), B Kinghorn (Edinburgh); A Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), G Horne (Glasgow Warriors); A Dell (Edinburgh), S McInally Captain (Edinburgh), S Berghan (Edinburgh), T Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), G Gilchrist (Edinburgh), M Bradbury (Edinburgh), F Brown (Glasgow Warriors), D Denton (Leicester Tigers). Replacements: G Turner (Glasgow Warriors), J Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Z Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), B Toolis (Edinburgh), J Ritchie (Edinburgh), S Hidalgo-Clyne (Scarlets), J Lang (Harlequins), C Harris (Newcastle Falcons).