Crosbie starts as seven selected for Calcutta Cup opener
Luke Crosbie makes his first Six Nations start for Scotland this Saturday (4 February, kick-off 4.45pm) as one of seven Edinburgh Rugby players selected for the Calcutta Cup opener at Twickenham – live on STV and ITV.
Crosbie is handed a deserved start against England following a hugely impressive start to the season at DAM Health Stadium which has seen the back-row pick up back-to-back Scottish Building Society Player of the Month awards.
Crosbie is one of five Edinburgh men starting in the Scotland pack as front-row duo Pierre Schoeman – making his 17th consecutive international appearance – and WP Nel, lock Grant Gilchrist and captain/blindside flanker Jamie Richie all get the nod in the English capital.
Duhan van der Merwe – back fit from an ankle injury that had kept him sidelined since December – is selected on the wing, while Blair Kinghorn is the sole Edinburgh star named among the replacements.
In the back division, scrum-half Ben White will link up with stand-off Finn Russell, a year on from his try-scoring debut in the Calcutta Cup at BT Murrayfield.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones are named as a centre pairing, the former having scored his first tries for Scotland in November’s win over Argentina, with the latter having notched no fewer than four tries against England in as many games against them.
In the back three, Scotland’s record try-scorer Stuart Hogg continues at full-back, with Van der Merwe and Kyle Steyn lining up on the wings.
Townsend has selected a bench with a 5-3 split between forwards and backs, with Glasgow Warriors clubmates Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan and Jack Dempsey, alongside Jonny Gray, listed as pack replacements.
George Horne, Kinghorn and Chris Harris complete the matchday squad as substitute options.
Scotland team to face England in the Guinness Six Nations opener on Saturday, 4 February at BT Murrayfield, kick-off 4.45pm, live on STV and ITV
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 96 caps
14 Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps
10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) 65 caps
9. Ben White (London Irish) 9 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
3. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 50 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 69 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 59 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 36 caps
7. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps
16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
19. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 72 caps
20. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps
22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps
23. Chris Harris (Gloucester) 39 caps