Gregor Townsend has made five changes his Scotland team to face England in the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations this Saturday, including handing Cameron Redpath a Test debut in midfield. Beaten last time out by Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup third-place playoff, Townsend has opted to change a third of his starting XV for their trip to London.
Full-back Stuart Hogg will lead the side in the 2021 Calcutta Cup fixture, as Scotland welcome back fly-half Finn Russell into the team in place of the benched Jaco van der Valt after the Racing 92 player missed the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup through injury.
Russell will have Bath centre Redpath outside him at Twickenham, with the 21-year-old making his debut after declaring for Scotland despite representing England at U20s. He comes in for Duncan Taylor. Sean Maitland, who steps up for Darcy Graham, and Duhan van der Merwe start on the wings, experienced scrum-half Ali Price will partner Russell in the half-backs, with Chris Harris alongside Redpath in the centre.
In the pack, Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson will pack down with hooker George Turner in the front row who comes in for the injured Fraser Brown. Scott Cummings and Jonny Gray continue their second row partnership. Jamie Ritchie and Matt Fagerson complete the pack with Hamish Watson, who didn’t play in Dublin last time out.
Edinburgh hooker David Cherry will make his Scotland debut if called up from the replacements. WP Nel and Oli Kebble are the other front row cover, alongside fellow forwards Richie Gray and Gary Graham. Scott Steele, Jaco van der Walt and Huw Jones complete the matchday 23.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 4, 2021
“We learned a lot about ourselves and where the game is going during our Autumn campaign and we aim to build on this base during the next seven weeks,” said Townsend. “We are set for a huge challenge against England as we will be facing one of the best teams in the world.
“It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new player into our squad and we are looking forward to Cam Redpath winning his first cap on Saturday. We have been really impressed with Cam’s contributions in the time he has been with us in camp.
“There are a number of experienced players in the backline to help make his transition to Test rugby go as smoothly as possible, and he has the mindset and skillset to thrive at this level.
SCOTLAND (vs England, Saturday)
15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 80 caps
14. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 50 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 23 caps
12. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) – 0 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 5 caps
10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 51 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 61 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 36 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 0 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 40 caps
19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps
20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 1 cap
22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 26 caps
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 4, 2021
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