It says much for Cameron Redpath’s debut vs England, that his absence today due to injury already feels like a huge loss. Townsend has brought the
It says much for Cameron Redpath’s debut vs England, that his absence today due to injury already feels like a huge loss. Townsend has brought the less talented but very Scotland system compliant James Lang in at 12, while elsewhere in the backs Darcy Graham replaces Sean Maitland.
Key to Scotland’s performance last time out was the back row of Jamie Ritchie, Hamish atson and Matt Fagerson so it’s disappointing for them that Ritchie is out with some muscle tightness. The uncompromising Blade Thomson as replacement shouldn’t put too much of a dent in their destructive powers.
Wales are so shorn of fit players that there was a possibility that James Dean Bradfield may have had a call-up this week, but Pivac has managed to put together a side despite the loss of Johnny Williams, Dan Lydiate, George North, Hallam Amos, Tomas Williams, Jonathan Davies, Josh Macleid and Josh Navidi.
Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkin form a nicely balanced centre partnership, Gareth Davies starts at nine, fit again Liam Williams returns on the wing and recent World Cup wunderkind Aaron Wainwright reclaims this blindside berth. The starting fifteen looks OK despite it all, but there should be a worry about the front five bench replacements matching those of Scotland.
Speaking of the bench, today should also see the Wales debut of Cardiff centre and recent residency qualifier Uilisi “Willis” Halaholo.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg (capt); Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, James Lang, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Blade Thomson, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 WP Nel, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Huw Jones.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Louis Rees-Zammit, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 James Botham, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Uilisi Halaholo.