There are fewer changes to France’s 23 compared to when these sides met eight months ago at Murrayfield, with 6 new faces versus 10 for Scotland. 6 Frenchmen will start both games; 7 of the bench from March have moved up into the XV; and 4 starters from the Six Nations game have gone in the opposite direction.
Scotland call upon 9 of the same starting XV with 2 more benched, 1 promoted from the replacements and Sam Skinner the only one of the 16 subs on either side to hold the same role all these months later.
Tale of the tape
42 Tries 39
96kg Average weight 91kg
204 Total caps 154
27.5 Average age 26.1
907kg Pack weight 916kg
16 Tries 14
219 Total caps 146
27.0 Average age 25.7
26 Tries 2
159 Total caps 59
28.4 Average age 24.7
5 changes to Scotland starting XV from last Test (v Italy)
- 14 – Kinghorn for Graham [-]
- 1 – Kebble for Sutherland [=]
- 2 – Brown for McInally [=]
- 3 – Berghan for Z. Fagerson [-]
- 8 – M. Fagerson for Thomson [+]
Stuart Hogg (c)
Duhan van der Merwe
Bernard le Roux
Charles Ollivon (c)
– There will have been a 2,451 day gap between starts at Murrayfield for Scotland by Duncan Weir when he takes to the field on Sunday. That last home outing in the 10 shirt was also against France (8th March 2014). Stuart Hogg, Duncan Taylor and Gael Fickou are the only other returning players from that fixture.
– Scotland may be missing Darcy Graham, with 14 tries in his last 14 appearances at Murrayfield. They can call on Duhan van der Merwe though, who has bagged a more than respectable 9 tries in his last 13 games at the national stadium. Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland both have 10 Test tries at the home of Scottish rugby – only two players in history have managed more (Tony Stanger – 21; Iwan Tukalo – 11).
– So far in this Autumn’s series of fixtures, Gregor Townsend has used 37 players as he looks to develop depth for the current World Cup cycle. In all the Scotland head coach has given game time to 79 players during his time in charge.
– The 2023 RWC is next on the horizon but with an even longer term view this French side contains 11 players who will be 31 or younger when the 2027 edition of the tournament kicks off – they look to be building for the long-term as well as delivering current success. Scotland have 5 men in the same age range.
Missed part 1 of the preview? Check it out here.