Scotland name experienced team to face England in Six Nations opener

Stuart Hogg is set to start for Scotland after returning from injury. Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images

Veteran fullback Stuart Hogg has recovered from injury to take his place in Scotland's backline for Saturday's Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham.

Hogg, who had a heel injury, will win his 97th cap despite having missed matches at club level over the last weeks in an experienced line-up named by coach Gregor Townsend on Thursday as Scotland bid to retain the Calcutta Cup.

Blindside flanker Jamie Ritchie leads the team in the Six Nations for the first time, having replaced Hogg as captain last year, and is joined at openside by Luke Crosbie, whose excellent recent form is rewarded with a second start for Scotland.

Pierre Schoeman starts at loose-head prop for a 17th consecutive international since his 2021 debut, but the rest of the front row is changed from the side that beat Argentina 52-29 at Murrayfield in November in Scotland's last test, with WP Nel returning at tight-head and George Turner at hooker.

Ben White has been chosen ahead of Ali Price to partner stand-off Finn Russell while Huw Jones takes Chris Harris' place at centre. Kyle Steyn is in for Darcy Graham on the wing.

Townsend has selected a bench with a 5-3 split between forwards and backs.

"We've gone for players who are in really good form," Townsend told a news conference from their training camp in Spain.

"I believe we'll also see a positive reaction from those left out."

Townsend said leaving Price out had been a difficult decision while Jones gets a nod ahead of Harris because of his form over the past two months.

"There is also an element of cohesion there with Sione Tuipulotu and their form together at Glasgow Warriors," He said.

Team: Stuart Hogg, Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Finn Russell, Ben White, Matt Fagerson, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Ritchie (Captain), Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, WP Nel, George Turner, Pierre Schoeman Replacements: Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Jonny Gray, Jack Dempsey, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn, Chris Harris