Gregor Townsend names unchanged team to face England in Six Nations

Gregor Townsend has kept faith with the players that beat France as the Scotland head coach named an unchanged team for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash with England.

Townsend’s pack options have been bolstered with the Edinburgh prop WP Nel and Glasgow’s lock Tim Swinson named among the replacements following injury.

The Glasgow centre Nick Grigg has been rewarded for his man-of-the-match display against Cheetahs last Friday with a place on the bench for the Six Nations fixture.

Scottish Rugby

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT | The starting line-up from Scotland’s win over France returns for this Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash with England at BT Murrayfield. WP Nel, Tim Swinson & Nick Grigg join the bench. #AsOne

February 21, 2018

Five of Scotland’s backline are British & Irish Lions – Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell and Greig Laidlaw.

Townsend said: “The players put a huge amount of effort into our win over France. They found a way to win and kept attacking the opposition up until the final whistle. England are the number two side in the world and have shown a very good level of consistency in the past couple of seasons.

“Taking on England is going to be a huge challenge and we are well aware that only our very best will be good enough in this fixture.”

Quick guide

France and Italy teams to play on Friday

Mathieu Bastareaud will return for France against Italy in the Six Nations after serving a three-week ban for a homophobic slur.

The centre will line up at the Stade de France opposite the Italy flanker, Sebastian Negri, against whom the slur was made in a Champions Cup tie in January.

Bastareaud is one of five changes made by the France head coach, Jacques Brunel, to the team beaten in Edinburgh.

Several players, including the Six Nations’ leading try-scorer Teddy Thomas, were dropped following the 32-26 defeat by Scotland after an ‘inappropriate’ night out after the game.

Teams for France v Italy, Friday 23 February, kick-off 8pm GMT
France H Bonneval; B Fall, M Bastareaud, G Doumayrou, R Grosso, L Beauxis, M Machenaud; J Poirot, G Guirado (capt), R Slimani, P Gabrillagues, S Vahaamahina, W Lauret, Y Camara, M Tauleigne. Replacements A Pelissie, D Priso, C Gomes Sa, R Taofifenua, K Galletier, B Couilloud, F Trinh-Duc, G Fickou.

Italy M Minozzi; T Benvenuti, T Boni, T Castello, M Bellini, T Allan, M Violi; A Lovotti, L Ghiraldini, S Ferrari, A Zanni, D Budd, S Negri, M Mbanda, S Parisse (capt). Replacements L Bigi, N Quaglio, T Pasquali, G Biagi, F Ruzza, E Gori, C Canna, J Hayward.

Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP

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