"He did really well for us in the summer as captain. We've got a very strong leadership group and it's getting the mix right. Ross Ford will lead the pack."
Lawson himself is looking forward to the opportunity:
"I've really enjoyed the occasions on which I've captained Scotland.
"I don't see my role changing hugely as captain, but certainly leading the team out is something I'm incredibly proud of."
He will be joined in the starting line up by Jim Hamilton who returns to the Scotland second row for the first time since picking up a foot injury in the Autumn internationals and also Alasdair Strokosch.
Gloucester prop of last season Alasdair Dickinson, now with Sale Sharks, is named amongst the replacements.
C Paterson (Edinburgh); N Walker (Ospreys), J Ansbro (London Irish), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets); R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), R Lawson (Gloucester); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), J Hamilton (Gloucester), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Beattie (Glasgow Warriors), R Rennie (Edinburgh).
D Hall (Glasgow Warriors), A Dickinson (Sale Sharks), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), D Denton (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), N De Luca (Edinburgh), J Cuthbert (Bath).