Chiefs duo in Scotland squad
By Mark Stevens
Exeter’s Stuart Hogg will return to the Scotland starting line-up as captain for the final round of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Wales on Saturday (2:15pm).
Fresh from securing the European and Premiership double with the Chiefs, Hogg plays at full-back as one of five changes to the starting XV from the Scotland side that defeated Georgia 48-7 last week.
Finn Russell lines up at fly-half after winning his 50th Scotland cap in the Georgia victory at BT Murrayfield on Friday night - and he is joined in the half-backs by Glasgow Warriors’ Ali Price.
In the back division, Blair Kinghorn shifts to the wing from full-back and replaces Edinburgh team-mate Duhan van de Merwe, who is named among the replacements.
In the pack, Hogg’s Exeter’s team-mate, Jonny Gray, comes into the second row and Scarlets’ Blade Thomson is selected at No.8 and will run out on his club ground on Saturday in Llanelli.
There is, however, no place in the match-day 23 for a third Exeter player Sam Skinner. Despite featuring in both the Champions Cup and Premiership finals, he will have a watching brief for the clash at Parc y Scarlets.
“As a group we are very much looking forward to finally completing our fixture against Wales and returning to play Guinness Six Nations rugby again,” said head coach Gregor Townsend. “We were highly motivated back in March, and that extra edge has come back into our training and preparations this week.
“It’s been great to bring in quality and experience to our starting line-up with players such as Stuart, Jonny and Finn who have been involved in some high-level games in recent weeks. We were also encouraged by Blade’s display at the weekend for Scarlets, which is a timely boost given last weekend’s injury to Matt Fagerson.
“We are expecting a physical battle against a very good side, one which we will be working hard to stay in the fight and to finish the fight in Llanelli. Ultimately, this game provides an opportunity for us to end this extended championship on a positive note and go into the Autumn Nations Cup with some added belief in what this group of players can achieve.”
Scotland team to play Wales at Parc Y Scarlets
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, capt) – 76 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 12 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) - 19 caps
12. James Lang (Harlequins) – 3 caps
11. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 50 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 33 caps
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 8 caps
2. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 51 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 30 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 57 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 19 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 33 caps
8. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 5 caps
16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 38 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
18. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 26 caps
19. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 26 caps
20. Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors) – 8 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) - Uncapped
22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
23. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 1 cap