Scotland team to face Wales in first home match of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations
Scotland will aim to build on their historic winning start to the 2021 Guinness Six Nations this weekend when they face Wales at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 13 February – kick off 16:45.
Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has made three changes, one in the pack and two in the backline following the opening weekend victory over England at Twickenham.
Flanker, Jamie Ritchie, centre, Cameron Redpath and winger, Sean Maitland are unavailable through injury.
Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson and Harlequins centre James Lang come into the starting XV, as does Edinburgh winger Darcy Graham. All three played in the last meeting between the two nations, when Scotland beat Wales in Llanelli in October in the concluding round of the 2020 Six Nations competition.
Captain Stuart Hogg continues at full-back following his ‘Man of the Match’ performance in the Calcutta Cup win and he is joined in the back-three by Edinburgh pair Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham.
James Lang partners Gloucester’s Chris Harris in the midfield, with Ali Price and Finn Russell completing the back division. Russell takes on vice-captain duties with Jonny Gray.
Head Coach Townsend is able to select the same pack, with the inclusion of Thomson, that played in the opening round.
Rory Sutherland, George Turner and Zander Fagerson pack down in the front row, with Jonny Gray and Scott Cummings continuing their lock partnership.
Thomson comes onto the blindside flank, alongside Hamish Watson and Matt Fagerson in the back-row.
All the replacements who travelled to Twickenham are selected again as the matchday 23.
Edinburgh hooker David Cherry, who won his first cap against England, is joined by Oli Kebble and WP Nel as front row cover.
Richie Gray and Gary Graham provide the forward options, with scrum-half Scott Steele, Jaco van der Walt and Huw Jones available to cover the backs.
Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “We have an opportunity this weekend against Wales to continue the positive start to the Guinness Six Nations we made last week against England.
“It was a very encouraging performance at Twickenham and the squad performed to a level which has to be the benchmark throughout the tournament. Wales are also coming into this game after a win and will have the same objective, so it will be a tough challenge as always.
“Both teams were involved in physical contests last weekend, and that is evidenced by the injuries Wales and we ourselves have picked up. For us, we are able to bring in three quality players in Blade, James and Darcy. They have been training well and are highly motivated to make the most of this opportunity.”
Scotland team to play Wales at BT Murrayfield, 2021 Guinness Six Nations
Saturday 13 February (kick-off 4.45pm) – live on BBC Sport
15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 81 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 24 caps
12. James Lang (Harlequins) – 5 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 6 caps
10. Finn Russell VICE CAPTAIN (Racing 92) – 52 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 38 caps
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 12 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 35 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
5. Jonny Gray VICE CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 62 caps
6. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 9 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 37 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 41 caps
19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 66 caps
20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 3 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 2 caps
22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 27 caps