Jamie Ritchie and Ali Price to co-captains Scotland in the first game of the Fall Nations Series against Tonga at BT Murrayfield, Saturday from 10.20, exclusively on Star +.
The pair replace Stuart Hogg, who is on club duty with Exeter Chiefs this weekend.
Front row Pierre Schoeman and second row Jamie Hodgson are set for their first international appearances in the group, while winger Rufus McLean and center Sione Tuipulotu will do the same at the baseline.
Four more players could debut from the bench, with Townsend choosing Marshall Sykes, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Dobie and Ross Thompson at 23.
Townsend said: “As a play and training group, we are looking forward to returning to international rugby for the next four weeks at the Fall Nations Series.
“This week has been our first opportunity since the Six Nations to come together as a team, and our goal is to become a better team over the next month. Saturday will also be a great occasion for several players from our squad who have the honor of playing for their country for the first time.
“Tonga will be a very dangerous opponent for us as it represents a fierce physical challenge in attack and defense. They did very well on their last visit to Scotland and I am sure they will be very motivated to bring us the game once again.
Scotland: 15. Darcy Graham, 14. Kyle Steyn, 13. Sione Tuipulotu, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Rufus McLean, 10. Blair Kinghorn, 9. Ali Price (cc), 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. George Turner, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Jamie Hodgson, 5. Rob Harley, 6. Jamie Ritchie (cc), 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Matt Fagerson
Alternates: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Oli Kebble, 19. Marshall Sykes, 20. Luke Crosbie, 21. Nick Haining, 22. Jamie Dobie, 23. Ross Thompson