Six Nations Championship

Five changes as Scots aim to build on Calcutta Cup win

Gregor Townsend
Changes: Gregor Townsend (pic: SNS Group)

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has made five changes to his starting line-up for this weekend’s Six Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff.

Sam Skinner comes into replace Jamie Ritchie, the flanker having been ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery on the hamstring injury suffered in the opening-day win over England at Murrayfield.

Zander Fagerson, George Turner and Rory Sutherland drop to the bench for the meeting in the Principality Stadium, while Sam Johnson has been released to play for Glasgow Warriors against Munster.

There will be a new look to the front row as the Scots look to build on their Calcutta Cup triumph, with Edinburgh Rugby’s Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel lining up alongside Stuart McInally. Glasgow’s Sione Tuipulotu will win his third cap at inside centre.

The match will mark a milestone for captain Stuart Hogg, who will be making his 90th appearance for his country ten years after running out for his debut at the same venue.

Cam Redpath is back in the fold following a lengthy injury absence and is named on the bench.

“We’ve had experiences against top sides home and away and shown resilience in those games,” said Townsend. “We’ve not won them all, but I believe the tests we had in Paris and Twickenham sets us up for a great challenge this week with a full stadium, one of the best venues in the world.”

On Ritchie’s prolonged lay-off, the coach added: “He had surgery two days ago that was successful but it’s still months in the experience of players who’ve had that surgery before. “I don’t think he’ll play again this season domestically and certainly not in the Six Nations.”

Scotland: Hogg (c); Graham, Harris, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Schoeman, McInally, Nel, Gray, Gilchrist, Skinner, Watson, M. Fagerson. Replacements: Turner, Sutherland, Z. Fagerson, Bradbury, Darge, White, Kinghorn, Redpath.

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