Tim Swinson will partner Al Kellock in the second row as Scotland open the autumn Test series against Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Ruaridh Jackson is given the number 10 jersey alongside Greig Laidlaw at scrum-half.
Tommy Seymour wins his third cap on the wing and, like Swinson, will be making his first home appearance, while Sean Lamont is on the other flank.
Al Strokosch and Dave Denton join skipper Kelly Brown in the back row.
Brown returns after recovering from ankle ligament damage which cut short his involvement in Scotland's summer tour of South Africa.
Nick De Luca, who was rested in June, forms a centre partnership with Edinburgh club-mate Matt Scott.
Head coach Scott Johnson admitted he was mindful of his team's reputation for being "slow starters" at the outset of campaigns and said: "We are looking to the future and we're also looking at people's futures too.
"This selection is a first chance for some to put their hand up. We have a 22-month campaign pre-World Cup and one of the mantras is 'this could be your last Test match'.
"It's not a right to play for your country. You have to go out there and perform. It's important these guys who have got the jerseys go out and perform."
Johnson described Japan, who beat Wales during the summer, as a "formidable" team.
He added: "Saturday is a good chance for the players to show their wares. Japan are well-coached, have a great work ethic and really good knowledge of rugby now."
British and Irish Lion Sean Maitland takes over from the injured Stuart Hogg at full-back, while Seymour is given the chance to shine by the absence of Tim Visser.
"We have got a lot of talent in Scotland running through the back three but there's a couple of them out with Tim and Stuart both injured," said the Nashville-born winger.
"But we have other good players waiting to come in so I can't take anything for granted.
"I can't take one player being injured as a sign I'm going to play - it doesn't really work like that.
"I've got to make sure that regardless of who is fit and who is not, I take my chance to keep my spot for future games."
South Africa and Australia are the other visitors to Murrayfield during November.
Scotland team to face Japan: Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Nick De Luca, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw, Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Tim Swinson, Alastair Kellock, Alasdair Strokosch, Kelly Brown (capt), David Denton.
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Alasdair Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, John Barclay, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Duncan Taylor.