Head Coach Gregor Townsend has made several changes to his starting XV for Scotland’s final Guinness Six Nations match against France at Stade de France, Paris, on Friday 26 March – kick off 8pm (UK time).
Dumfries and Galloway Rugby Stars Scott Steele, who used to play for Dumfries Saints and already has 4 caps for Scotland and Alex Craig who played for Stewartry RFC and gained his first Scotland Cap last week have both made the squad for Friday and will start on the bench.
(News Just In 25/03/21)Glasgow Warriors forward Ryan Wilson has been called into the Scotland squad and travelled to France with the team for the concluding match of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations
Glasgow Warriors forward Ryan Wilson has been called into the Scotland squad and travelled to France with the team for the concluding match of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations.
Edinburgh Rugby’s Nick Haining replaces Fagerson in the starting Scotland XV at number 8 with Ryan Wilson joining the replacements.
Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “Matt suffered an ankle injury in our final training session this week before we headed to Paris.
“It is disappointing for Matt, who has been playing consistently well throughout the Championship.
“Nick [Haining] now has the opportunity from the start to show his abilities in what will be a great challenge for our forward pack.
“We were able to call on Ryan [Wilson] at short notice given Glasgow Warriors had already conducted two Covid tests this week, which meant he was safe to travel and join up with the squad yesterday afternoon.
“Given Ryan’s Test match experience and his form this season, we believe he will grab his opportunity on his return to the squad. And, if he comes off the bench tomorrow night, he will achieve his 50th cap, which is a significant milestone.”
Finn Russell and Ali Price return to form the half-backs, with Chris Harris selected at centre and hooker George Turner also returning to the starting line-up.
Captain Stuart Hogg moves to his more familiar role at full-back having played at stand-off in the record win over Italy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, with try scorers from that game, Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe, again lining up on the wing.
Sam Johnson partners Harris in the centres with Huw Jones providing cover from the bench alongside Scott Steele and Adam Hastings, who is poised for his first involvement of the championship following his return from injury.
Turner’s return sees the hooker pack down with Rory Sutherland at loosehead and Nick Haining at tighthead , with Grant Gilchrist and Sam Skinner combining again in the second row.
Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Matt Fagerson comprise the back row for the fourth time this championship.
Hooker David Cherry, who scored a brace of tries against Italy, is joined by Oli Kebble and Simon Berghan as front row cover, with last week’s debutant Alex Craig and Nick Haining offering further forward options from the bench.
Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “The match against France provides us with an opportunity to finish the Six Nations in our highest position in its history.
“This is a great opportunity for us to take on France, at home in Paris, as they also look to end the championship on a high.
“Both teams have needed to manage a short six-day turnaround and we have used this week to regroup and focus on putting in our best performance of the competition so far, which we will need to deliver if we are to leave Paris with a victory.
“As a group we have faced several challenges throughout this Six Nations, it has brought us closer together, and I know the players are motivated and looking forward to representing their country again on Friday night.”
Scotland team to play France at Stade de France in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations
Friday 26 March (kick-off 8pm, UK time) – live on BBC One
15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) 84 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 27 caps
12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 9 caps
10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) VICE CAPTAIN – 54 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps
4. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 11 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 44 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) VICE CAPTAIN – 26 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 40 caps
8. Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 30 caps
19. Alex Craig (Gloucester) – 1 cap
20. Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 49 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 4 caps
22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 30 caps