KO 2.15 at BT Murrayfield
Saturday 9th March 2019
Live on BBC1
This team had the potential to go two ways, with a major reshuffle to reflect poor form or keeping the bulk of it intact to try and build confidence after a very poor showing in France, and rediscover that
Injuries have played their part in the Six Nations this year but there has been some good news in recent weeks and WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Finn Russell and Hamish Watson were all names available to Gregor Townsend that were not two weeks ago (John Barclay and Duncan Taylor also attended camp this week but with limited participation).
Despite this, there are only 4 changes, most of them in the backline, including a first start for Darcy Graham.
There is one big change: plenty of PR photos of Ali Price in training meant there was always a possibility that Greig Laidlaw would move to the bench for this one. Price has a chequered history in this fixture but has tasted victory and in the absence of George
It leaves Scotland in search of a captain and a kicker, with Stuart McInally stepping up to the plate for the former and Finn Russell presumably taking over the latter (Kinghorn might also be an option).
The return of Wullie Nel is the only change to the pack.
Wales have left Biggar on the bench but otherwise, they’ve only made one change to the team that beat England, with Adam Beard coming in for the injured Jake Ball. Biggar turned them around against England in the second half, can Scotland avoid that happening to them this Saturday given how poor they’ve often been under high balls so far?
Fun fact: Kristian Dacey and Cory Hill are absent but the other four of Gatland’s Lions “Geography 6” all start, 2 per side. More in Part II of Kevin’s preview tomorrow.
Scotland: Blair Kinghorn, Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Pete Horne, Darcy Graham, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Allan Dell, Stuart McInally (capt), WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson, Greig Laidlaw, Adam Hastings, Byron McGuigan.
Wales: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Aled Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (FFR)