Guinness Six Nations
Russell starts as Scots aim to finish with a flourish
All smiles: Finn Russell (pic: SNS Group)
Finn Russell will return to the starting line-up when Scotland take on Wales in their final 2020 Six Nations fixture this weekend.
The fly-half ended his international exile after a breach of protocol with an appearance from the bench against Georgia at Murrayfield last week.
Fresh from winning his 50th cap for his country in the 48-7 win on Friday night, the 28-year-old will be hoping to help the Scots bring the curtain down on their elongated campaign with victory in Llanelli.
Russell is one of four changes made to the starting XV by Gregor Townsend.
Stuart Hogg returns to captain the side from full-back after helping Exeter Chiefs capture a European and Premiership double, with Jonny Gray, Ali Price and Blade Thomson all getting the call.
“It’s been great to bring in quality and experience to our starting line-up with players such as Stuart, Jonny and Finn who have been involved in some high-level games in recent weeks,” said Townsend.
“We were also encouraged by Blade’s display at the weekend for Scarlets, which is a timely boost given last weekend’s injury to Matt Fagerson.
“We are expecting a physical battle against a very good side, one which we will be working hard to stay in the fight and to finish the fight in Llanelli.
“Ultimately, this game provides an opportunity for us to end this extended championship on a positive note and go into the Autumn Nations Cup with some added belief in what this group of players can achieve.”
Kick-off is at 2.15pm on Saturday.
The match will be a poignant occasion for the home side, with Welsh rugby mourning the loss off wing legend JJ Williams, who has died at the age of 72.
The British and Irish Lions and Llanelli star scored 12 tries in 30 Tests as part of the Wales team which won four Five Nations championships, including two Grand Slams, during the 1970s.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (c), 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 James Lang, 11 Blair Kinghorn, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Rory Sutherland
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Duhan van der Merwe