Scotland have Russell back for Wales test

Rugby

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell has been restored to the starting lineup alongside captain Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray as coach Gregor Townsend named his side to take on Wales in the final round of the Six Nations on Saturday.

Russell made his comeback off the bench last week when he won his 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 in recent weeks.

Hogg plays at fullback while Blair Kinghorn shifts to the wing, where he replaces Edinburgh teammate 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,” Townsend said.

“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.”

Scotland squad

Starting XV

Stuart Hogg (captain), Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, James Lang, Blair Kinghorn, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Blade Thomson, Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie, Jonny Gray, Scott Cummings, Zander Fagerson, Fraser Brown, Rory Sutherland

Replacements

Stuart McInally, Oli Kebble, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Cornell du Preez, Scott Steele, Adam Hastings, Duhan van der Merwe

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