Watson returns as eight selected to face France
British & Irish Lion back-row Hamish Watson returns to the starting line-up as one of eight Edinburgh players selected for Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations match against France at the Stade de France, Paris, this Sunday (26 February, kick-off 3pm GMT) live on ITV Sport.
Watson replaces Edinburgh teammate Luke Crosbie as the solitary change in Scotland’s XV, while Sam Skinner is named on the replacements’ bench, primed for his first outing in this year’s Championship.
A largely settled squad, who have beaten England and Wales in the opening two rounds, travel to Paris aiming to win back the Auld Alliance trophy, having won on their last outing at the stadium in 2021 – a first victory in the French capital since 1999.
An unchanged back division for the third straight game sees Ben White and Finn Russell link up at half-back, the latter having gone fourth in Scotland’s all-time points-scoring list with ten more from the tee against Wales in the previous round.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones resume their centre partnership, with Stuart Hogg recovering from a head injury assessment to be named at full-back.
Round two double try-scorer Kyle Steyn is selected as Duhan van der Merwe – who scored two himself in Scotland’s 2021 Paris victory – lines up on the other wing.
In the pack, Hamish Watson’s return sees him join a back row also containing captain Jamie Ritchie and Number 8 Matt Fagerson.
Vice-captain Grant Gilchrist and Richie Gray represent a vastly experienced second-row combination, with George Turner continuing at hooker, alongside props Pierre Schoeman (loosehead) and Zander Fagerson (tighthead).
Skinner’s return to the squad is part of a six-two bench split, with Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, WP Nel, Jonny Gray and Jack Dempsey adding ballast for the forwards. Scrum-half Ali Price joins Blair Kinghorn in providing further replacement options.
Scotland team to face France at Stade de France in the Guinness Six Nations
Sunday 26 February (kick-off 3pm GMT) – live on ITV Sport
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 98 caps
14. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 33 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 25 caps
10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) 67 caps
9. Ben White (London Irish) 11 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 18 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 55 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 71 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice-Captain – 61caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 38 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 54 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 59 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 27 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 52 caps
19. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 74 caps
20. Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps
21. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps
22. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 58 caps
23. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 40 caps