Barclay to captain Scotland against Wales

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:35
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: John Barclay will replace the injured Greig Laidlaw as Scotland captain for Saturday's Six Nations international against Wales at Murrayfield.

Scrumhalf Laidlaw was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after suffering an ankle injury that saw him go off during the first half of Scotland's eventual 16-22 loss to France in Paris earlier this month.

Barclay took over the captaincy at the Stade de France and even the back-row forward also had to leave the field, with a shoulder and head injury, although he has since been passed fit,

The 30-year-old Barclay, who plays his club rugby in Wales for the Llanelli-based Scarlets, has been the official Scotland captain once before when standing in for the injured Mike Blair against New Zealand in 2010.

Scotland coach Vern Cotter has made five changes to his side, with three enforced through injury.

Laidlaw's place will be taken by Ali Price, who came off the bench in Paris, with the Glasgow scrumhalf set to make his first Test start this weekend.

Elsewhere in the backs, wing Tim Visser replaces Sean Maitland (rib injury), while in the pack back-row forward Ryan Wilson, recovered from the elbow infection that saw him miss the France game, comes in for the injured Josh Strauss (kidney). 

Cotter has made two tactical changes in the pack, with loose forward John Hardie and prop Gordon Reid respectively in for Hamish Watson and Allan Dell, who both drop down to the bench after starting Scotland's opening two matches of the Championship. 

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Hardie, 6 John Barclay (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid.  
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett.

Date: Saturday, February 25
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 14.25 (14.25 GMT)
Referee: Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Agence France-Presse

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Wales 5 2 0 3 10
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