Guinness Six Nations Championship
Townsend tweaks line-up with return of Bradbury
Return: Magnus Bradbury (pic: SNS Group)
Edinburgh No. 8 Magnus Bradbury is the only change to Scotland’s starting line-up for the Calcutta Cup clash against England at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The 24-year-old back-row has recovered from the thigh strain that kept him out of last weekend’s loss to Ireland with clubmate and debutant that day, Nick Haining, moving to the bench.
The remaining change to the match 23 occurs on the bench, where Edinburgh tighthead Simon Berghan returns to the position in which he was selected last weekend, only to be ruled out through illness on the day of the game.
“England are an excellent team whose run to the Rugby World Cup final was no fluke,” said head coach Gregor Townsend.
“We were disappointed not to beat Ireland but the opportunity to face England, against whom we are bidding to retain the Calcutta Cup, is one that excites players, coaches and supporters alike.
“They will be smarting from their opener in Paris.
“This famous fixture is one that stands out given the history surrounding it and we will have to be at our very best to stand a chance of winning against our oldest rivals.
“We were proud of parts of our performance in Dublin at a very difficult venue. The challenge for the squad is to replicate that level and take our chances when they come, in order to win tight games.”
England, who have managed three wins from their last seven trips to Murrayfield, have made five changes to the team stunned by France.
Scrum-half Ben Youngs is replaced by Willi Heinz, with Lewis Ludlam in for flanker Courtney Lawes. Prop Mako Vunipola and lock George Kruis come back into the team, with Jonathan Joseph replacing the crocked Manu Tuilagi at centre.
Head coach Eddie Jones said: “Preparation this week has been great. We have sought to address the issues from the France game and have had a really good and sharp preparation for Scotland.
“Scotland are a dangerous side. They like to play with a lot of width and with a lot of flow and tempo in their game. We want to make sure we dominate the gain line.
“Their win record against England at Murrayfield is substantially higher than their overall record against us, so we have to recognise they are a dangerous beast and we have to be at our best to beat them.”
Scotland: Hogg (captain); Maitland, Jones, Johnson, Kinghorn; Hastings, Price; Sutherland, Brown, Fagerson, Cummings, Gray, Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury.
Replacements: McInally, Dell, Berghan, Toolis, Haining, Horne, Hutchinson, Harris.