Paterson out of Scotland team

Nick De Luca will make his Scotland debut in the RBS 6 Nations clash with France - but Chris Paterson has been left out of the side for Sunday's meeting at Murrayfield.

Nick De Luca will make his Scotland debut in the RBS 6 Nations clash with France - but Chris Paterson has been left out of the side for Sunday's meeting at Murrayfield.

Coach Frank Hadden confirmed that 23-year-old Edinburgh player De Luca will start at centre alongside Andrew Henderson, who has been passed fit to add some ballast to the midfield.

It is the omission of Paterson however, who has been struggling for game time at Gloucester, which is the biggest surprise. Rory Lamont plays at full-back with Simon Webster and Nikki Walker on the wings.

Hadden said: "A lot of people focus on the XV but as far as I'm concerned as a coach the emphasis is on the 22 and if you look at my track record I have made full use of the 22. Chris Paterson is still an integral part of the Scotland squad."

In the other area of concern, the back row, John Barclay will play at openside flanker with Dave Callam drafted in at number eight to fill in for Simon Taylor, who has a broken thumb. Ally Hogg is not included in the pool of 22.

Glasgow Warriors star Barclay, 21, will be making his first start in the Six Nations.

For Henderson, his 28th birthday on Sunday will coincide with the occasion of his 50th Scotland cap.

By leaving out Paterson, the onus will be on Dan Parks to kick for goal with the same pinpoint accuracy as the man who captained Scotland in last season's Six Nations.

First-choice skipper Jason White leads the team into this championship.

Hadden admits he had tough choices to make when deciding on his line-up.

He said: "I'm very happy with the squad and with the genuine competition for places that has caused a few selection headaches."

He added: "The youngsters who have come in, John Barclay and Nick De Luca, have done so on merit.

"Our track record in Scotland of developing players in the pro teams is tremendous and to see John and Nick simply demanding to be chosen for the national team is a perfect example of that."

Scotland team to play France in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Murrayfield on Sunday:

R Lamont (Sale Sharks); N Walker (Ospreys), N De Luca (Edinburgh), A Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), S Webster (Edinburgh); D Parks (Glasgow Warriors), M Blair (Edinburgh); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton Saints), N Hines (Perpignan), J Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), J White (Sale Sharks, captain), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), D Callam (Edinburgh).

Replacements: F Thomson (Glasgow Warriors), G Kerr (Edinburgh), S MacLeod (Llanelli Scarlets), K Brown (Glasgow Warriors), C Cusiter (Perpignan), C Paterson (Gloucester), H Southwell (Edinburgh).

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