Andy Robinson has picked a fairly interesting team for the tournament opener against France on Saturday, opting to forego the form of Rob Harley and stick Big Nathan in at openside to allow him his preferred second row of Gray and Kellock, while switching Kelly Brown to his old position of Number 8. His front row is exactly as you would expect, the match being on a Saturday and there are a few surprises in the backs as well.
Newly returned from injury Nick De Luca forms a new centre partnership with in form Joe Ansbro while Max Evans returns to the wing where many feel he will have the most impact. Southwell has made the most of his time in France and cemented his 15 shirt while the other wing slot goes to Nikki Walker, who will need to keep the form we saw in the Samoa game as there are plenty others lining up to take what could be considered one of the few “open” slots on the team sheet.
Scotland Team: Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Nikki Walker (Ospreys), Joe Ansbro (Northampton), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow), Dan Parks (Cardiff), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford (both Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Newcastle), Richie Gray, Al Kellock (captain) (both Glasgow), Nathan Hines (Leinster), John Barclay (Glasgow), Kelly Brown (Saracens).
Replacements: Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Richie Vernon (all Glasgow), Ross Rennie, Mike Blair (both Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow), Sean Lamont (Scarlets).
And in the interests of balance, here is the France team:
France team: Damien Traille (Biarritz); Yoann Huget (Bayonne), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne); Thomas Domingo (Clermont Auvergne), William Servat (Toulouse), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Julien Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), Lionel Nallet (Racing Metro), Thierry Dusautoir (captain, Toulouse), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz).
Replacements: Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Sebastien Chabal (Racing Metro), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), David Skrela (Toulouse), Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse).