Gregor Townsend has made three changes to his Scotland XV to play France on Sunday in the Guinness Six Nations. Fresh from the round three win over Italy in Rome after opening defeats to Ireland and England, the Scots have opted to rejig their pack for the visit of the Grand Slam-chasing French.
Edinburgh pair Grant Gilchrist (second row) and Nick Haining (No8) complete the starting changes, with Exeter Chiefs lock Sam Skinner returning from injury to join the squad on the bench for the first time this campaign and Magnus Bradbury taking a place among the replacements.
The bench also features Worcester Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir, who could make his first Scotland appearance since the 2017 championship, while Kyle Steyn would make his debut if called upon from the bench.
The remainder of the pack is unchanged once again, with props Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland, Glasgow lock Scott Cummings and Edinburgh back row forwards Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson five of the eleven players to start their fourth consecutive Test this campaign.
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An unchanged back division sees try-scorers against Italy – centre Chris Harris, stand-off Adam Hastings and full-back Stuart Hogg – return to reform their respective partnerships with Sam Johnson in midfield, Ali Price at scrum-half, and Blair Kinghorn and Sean Maitland in the back three.
Coach Townsend said: “This week we face a France team that looks galvanised since the World Cup, with a potential Grand Slam in their sights following impressive wins over England, Italy and Wales.
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“We have a lot of respect for their coaching team and the quality of player they possess throughout their squad, many of them just in the early stages of their international careers. We’re going to have to deliver our best rugby of the championship in order to beat a team in such good form.
“Coming back to BT Murrayfield is always a very special feeling and the energy generated from the Scotland supporters means a great deal to everyone associated with the squad. Our players are looking forward to revelling in that atmosphere on Sunday.”
SCOTLAND: S Hogg (Exeter, capt); S Maitland (Saracens), C Harris (Gloucester), S Johnson (Glasgow), B Kinghorn (Edinburgh); A Hastings (Glasgow), A Price (Glasgow); R Sutherland (Edinburgh), F Brown (Glasgow), Z Fagerson (Glasgow), S Cummings (Glasgow), G Gilchrist (Edinburgh), J Ritchie (Edinburgh), H Watson (Edinburgh), N Haining (Edinburgh). Reps: S McInally (Edinburgh), A Dell (London Irish), W Nel (Edinburgh), S Skinner (Exeter), M Bradbury (Edinburgh), G Horne (Glasgow), D Weir (Worcester), K Steyn (Glasgow).
WATCH: Jim Hamilton previews the Murrayfield clash between Scotland and France
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