Scotland name centre for first start against Wales

Scotland name centre for first start against Wales

Newcastle centre Chris Harris will make his first Scotland start in the NatWest 6 Nations opener against Wales.

Stuart Hogg regains his place at full-back after playing just once for Glasgow since pulling out of Scotland's November victory over Australia with a hip injury, minutes before kick-off.

Props Jon Welsh and Gordon Reid will make their first Scotland appearances since 2015 in Cardiff on Saturday amid a front-row injury crisis. They will pack down either side of hooker Stuart McInally.

Ben Toolis and Cornell du Preez also come into the pack after coming off the bench against Australia while Byron McGuigan retains his place on the wing after bagging two tries against the Wallabies.

John Barclay continues as captain with Grieg Laidlaw on the bench after his recent return from a leg fracture, while Ryan Wilson has been deemed fit enough to take his place among the replacements.

Uncapped Edinburgh prop Murray McCallum is also among the replacements.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: "We've selected a squad that we believe can start the NatWest 6 Nations championship with the intensity and speed required to win in Cardiff.

"We're expecting a really physical game against a very good team. Wales have one of the best defences in the game and an attack that sees forwards passing much more and a structure that enables backs to get on ball."

Scotland team to play Wales at Cardiff on Saturday:

Team: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour (both Glasgow), Chris Harris (Newcastle), Huw Jones (Glasgow), Byron McGuigan (Sale); Finn Russell, Ali Price (both Glasgow); Gordon Reid (London Irish), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Jon Welsh (Newcastle); Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow); John Barclay (Scarlets), Hamish Watson, Cornell du Preez (both Edinburgh).

Replacements: Scott Lawson (Newcastle), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow), Murray McCallum, Grant Gilchrist (both Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Pete Horne (Glasgow), Sean Maitland (Saracens).

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