Scots go with tried and tested for England

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:13
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Scotland coach Gregor Townsend opted for continuity after naming an unchanged starting XV for Saturday's Six Nations showdown with England at BT Murrayfield.

The Scots fought back from a ten-point deficit on two occasions and scored 12 unanswered points in the final quarter to post their first win of the 2018 Six Nations Championship, with the two-try showing rewarded with reselection for the staring XV.

There are, however, three changes to the bench with fit-again prop Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) and lock Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – both of whom returned to the squad this week – named among the replacements in place of Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons) and Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby).

Centre Nick Grigg is the only change among the backs replacements as a reward for his consistency of performance for Glasgow Warriors, highlighted in his man-of-the-match winning performance for the club in their bonus-point win over Cheetahs last weekend.

The unchanged starting side means Scotland’s British & Irish Lions backline quintet of Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell and Tommy Seymour return, with the Glasgow Warriors partnership of Pete Horne and Huw Jones completing the division.

Edinburgh Rugby provide half the pack with prop Simon Berghan, hooker Start McInally, lock Grant Gilchrist and back-row Hamish Watson back in the fold, with London Irish loosehead Gordon Reid returning to the front-row, Jonny Gray completing the second-row and captain John Barclay and vice-captain Ryan Wilson in the back-row once again.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (captain), 5 Jonny Gray , 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 David Denton, 21 Ali Price, 22 Nick Grigg, 23 Blair Kinghorn

Date: Friday, Febraury 23
Venue: BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 16.45 (16.45 GMT, 16.45 England time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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