Scotland: Zander Fagerson returns in only change to team for Six Nations clash with Wales
Scotland have made just one change to their starting team that will face Wales in the Six Nations, with Zander Fagerson returning at prop.
Fagerson recovers from injury to take over at tighthead from WP Nel, who moves to bench duty, as the Scots look to back up their opening win over England.
The experienced Fagerson runs out in a front-row also containing loosehead Pierre Schoeman and hooker George Turner, who both started at Twickenham.
Jamie Ritchie captains from the blindside
Grant Gilchrist once again partners Richie Gray at lock, with Matt Fagerson packing down at number eight, flanked by captain Jamie Ritchie and Luke Crosbie.
In the backline, double Calcutta Cup try-scorer Duhan van der Merwe is joined in the Scotland back three by fellow wing Kyle Steyn and full-back Stuart Hogg.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones, who scored the opening try against England in their Six Nations opener, continue their centre partnership, with Finn Russell and Ben White – also a try scorer last weekend – resuming their half-back roles on Saturday.
Aside from Nel, the bench also remains unchanged, with Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Jonny Gray and Jack Dempsey all ready to bolster the forward pack when required and George Horne, Blair Kinghorn and Chris Harris likewise for the back division.
Scotland will be desperate to not let last week’s bonus-point success over England go to waste when they take on a much-changed Wales side at Murrayfield.
Currently sitting on five points after the opening round, another victory would give them increased confidence going into a one week break in the Six Nations.
Not an easy selection for Gregor Townsend
Despite their impressive win last Saturday, head coach Gregor Townsend explained that his team selection for the visit of the Welsh was not straightforward.
“No, it wasn’t,” he said, when asked if it was an easy call to retain 14 of the 15 who started at Twickenham.
“We actually delayed the (internal) team announcement because we had a few selections that we had to sleep on. I believe they’ve earned the right to get a second opportunity to build on that win but the performance wasn’t at our best level.
“We’ve got players on the bench and outwith the 23 who are quality players that have played very well for us in the past or are itching for that opportunity, so it wasn’t an easy decision, but these guys now have the opportunity to build on last week.”
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben White, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Luke Crosbie, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 WP Nel, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 George Horne, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Chris Harris
Date: Saturday, February 11
Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Frank Murphy (IRFU), Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)
READ MORE: Wales: Warren Gatland wields the axe as Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau all dropped
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