Scotland have Russell back in starting lineup for Wales test

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell was restored to the starting lineup and Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray returned to the team when coach Gregor Townsend named his side to take on Wales in the final round of the Six Nations at Llanelli on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool A - Japan v Scotland - International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan - October 13, 2019 Scotland's Finn Russell runs through to score their first try REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

Russell made his comeback off the bench last week as he won a 50th cap in the 48-7 win over Georgia at Murrayfield, having missed the Six Nations campaign earlier in the year because of disciplinary reasons.

Hogg, who takes back the captaincy from Fraser Brown, and Gray return to the lineup after helping Exeter Chiefs secure the European and Premiership double over the last few weeks.

Hogg plays at full back while Blair Kinghorn shifts to the wing, where he replaces Edinburgh team mate Duhan van de Merwe, who is named among the replacements.

Scarlets’ Blade Thomson is selected at number eight and will run out on his club ground in Llanelli on Saturday.

Uncapped Harlequins scrum half Scott Steele was named among the replacements and will likely debut on Saturday in a match postponed from March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been great to bring in quality and experience to our starting lineup 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 (against Benetton), which is a timely boost given last weekend’s injury to Matt Fagerson.”


15-Stuart Hogg (capt), 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.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris