Gregor Townsend goes into his first Six Nations as head coach with probably more than his fair share of expectation buzzing around the squad. Although England aren’t as injury-hit as they are pretending to be, Wales definitely are – so there has been a slight worry for the last week that Scotland might have to deal with not being underdogs, even away in Cardiff.
Large swathes of the team have been predictable for weeks, and with fitness or appearances in recent training photos it seemed likely that Toony favourites like Ryan Wilson, Alex Dunbar or Tommy Seymour would slot right back in, even if they were short of game time.
That’s true in the case of Seymour, but Wilson only makes the bench as Cornell du Preez gets a chance to pick up where he left off in the autumn. No room for Dave Denton this time.
Alex Dunbar is likewise nowhere to be seen, and with Duncan Taylor also absent (head knocks both), Huw Jones and Chris Harris are the chosen centre combo. That will set the comments aflame I’m sure.
Elsewhere things are fairly much as we expected. And Murray McCallum is the next choice at tighthead, in case you were wondering.
Now that you know the teams, how do you see it going?
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Chris Harris, Huw Jones, Byron McGuigan, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Gordon Reid, Stuart McInally, Jon Welsh, Ben Toolis, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: Scott Lawson, Jamie Bhatti, Murray McCallum, Grant Gilchrist, Ryan Wilson, Greig Laidlaw, Pete Horne, Sean Maitland.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets); Josh Adams (Worcester), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Steff Evans (Scarlets); Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Cory Hill (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys capt), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester).
Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys).
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (FFR)
Coverage on BBC, k.o 2.15pm