Guinness Six Nations Championship
Injuries force Townsend into changes for Wales clash
Injuries: Gregor Townsend (pic: SNS Group)
Scotland’s historic Six Nations win over England has come at a cost with Jamie Ritchie, Cameron Redpath and Sean Maitland all missing the weekend visit of Wales through injury.
Gregor Townsend has called in Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson and Harlequins centre James Lang, along with Edinburgh winger Darcy Graham as he looks to build on the famous Twickenham triumph at Murrayfield.
Redpath, who impressed on debut against England, is struggling with a neck problem that will keep him out for the “next few weeks”. Townsend hopes the 21-year-old can recover before the end of the championship, while Ritchie and Maitland are expected to be fit for the round three visit to Paris on 28 February.
“We have an opportunity this weekend against Wales to continue the positive start we made last week against England,” said the head coach.
“It was a very encouraging performance at Twickenham and the squad performed to a level which has to be the benchmark throughout the tournament.
“Wales are also coming into this game after a win and will have the same objective, so it will be a tough challenge as always.
“Both teams were involved in physical contests last weekend, and that is evidenced by the injuries Wales and we ourselves have picked up.
“For us, we are able to bring in three quality players in Blade, James and Darcy. They have been training well and are highly motivated to make the most of this opportunity.”
Kick-off on Saturday is 4.45pm as the Scots aim for back-to-back wins over Wales for the first time since 2003.
15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 81 caps, 14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 15 caps, 13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 24 caps, 12. James Lang (Harlequins) – 5 caps, 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 6 caps, 10. Finn Russell VICE-CAPTAIN (Racing 92) – 52 caps, 9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 38 caps, 1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 12 caps, 2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps, 3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 35 caps, 4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps, 5. Jonny Gray VICE CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 62 caps, 6. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 9 caps, 7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 37 caps, 8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps.
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 1 cap, 17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps, 18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 41 caps, 19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 66 caps, 20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 3 caps, 21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 2 caps, 22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap, 23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 27 caps.