Gregor Townsend makes six changes to Scotland for Six Nations clash vs England
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 14/03/19 2:15pm
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has made six changes to his starting XV ahead of their Six Nations clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Two of those changes are injury-enforced in the back-three as Sean Maitland and Byron McGuigan come in for Blair Kinghorn (ankle) and Tommy Seymour (rib), while full-back Stuart Hogg (shoulder) is still out injured too.
The one other change to the backs comes in midfield as Sam Johnson starts at inside-centre in place of Glasgow Warriors team-mate Pete Horne.
In the forwards, Hamish Watson starts at openside with Jamie Ritchie (head/neck) injured, while Sam Skinner returns at blindside after injury to replace Josh Strauss - Edinburgh's Magnus Bradbury making the positional switch to No 8.
Finally, Edinburgh lock Ben Toolis replaces Glasgow's Jonny Gray in the second row, with the latter dropping to the replacements bench.
"Both Sam Skinner and Ben Toolis started for us against Italy and deserve another opportunity to show what they can do in a blue jersey," Townsend said on Thursday.
"While it's tough on Jamie to miss this game through injury, we're delighted to bring back Hamish Watson into the starting line-up. He made a real impact on Saturday and we have no doubt that he's ready to take the game to the opposition in attack and defence.
"Sam [Skinner] brings a lot of set-piece nous and gives us good balance in the back-row and we are keen to give Magnus [Bradbury] an opportunity to start at number eight.
"His match fitness has grown over the last two games and he did a number of good things last weekend. There is more to come from him and, as a pack, we know we have to deliver a massive performance of work-rate and physicality this weekend.
"Sam Johnson gets an opportunity to build on his strong performances against Italy and Ireland, while it's good to have Sean Maitland back in the back-three alongside Darcy and Byron, who both played well last weekend.
"These three players and the team as a whole, will have to put in a lot of work off the ball to counter this threat on Saturday."
BREAKING | Scotland make six changes to starting team to face England in this Saturday’s final Guinness Six Nations Test at Twickenham Stadium (16 March) – live on ITV.— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 14, 2019
3️⃣⬆️ Forwards: Toolis, Watson, Skinner
3️⃣⬆️ Backs: Maitland, McGuigan, Johnson pic.twitter.com/hHrWScXAvG
Scotland: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price; 1 Allan Dell, 2 Stuart McInally, 3 WP Nel, 4 Ben Toolis, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Sam Skinner, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Magnus Bradbury.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Chris Harris.