Scotland v France: Hamish Watson ruled out by Covid in huge blow for Gregor Townsend’s team

Scotland have been dealt a late blow in their preparations for the Guinness Six Nations match against France with the loss of Hamish Watson.

The flanker has returned a positive Covid test and will miss the game at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

Edinburgh back row Nick Haining moves up from the bench to the starting XV and will play on the blindside, with Rory Darge moving across to openside. Darge, making his first start for Scotland, had originally been selected at six but is more comfortable at seven.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The uncapped Saracens flanker Andy Christie comes into the squad as a substitute.

It means Scotland will go into the game without all three members of the back row that started the win over England on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

Jamie Ritchie, the first-choice blindside, tore his hamstring in 20-17 victory and has been ruled out of the remainder of the championship. Matt Fagerson, the No 8, sustained a blow to his foot in the defeat by Wales a week later, forcing him out of the France match.

Two unnamed members of the Scotland backroom team have also tested positive for Covid and will isolate as per Scottish Government guidelines.

The loss of Watson will be keenly felt. The 47-times capped Edinburgh back row was voted Player of the Six Nations last season and was selected for the British & Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa.

Scotland's Hamish Watson has tested positive for Covid.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Scotland's Hamish Watson has tested positive for Covid.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Scotland's Hamish Watson has tested positive for Covid. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Revised Scotland team to face France in Guinness Six Nations (BT Murrayfield, Saturday, 2.15pm)

15. Stuart Hogg - Exeter Chiefs - (Captain) - 90 caps

14. Darcy Graham - Edinburgh Rugby - 24 caps

13. Chris Harris – Gloucester Rugby - 33 caps

12. Sione Tuipulotu - Glasgow Warriors - 3 caps

11. Duhan van der Merwe - Worcester Warriors - 15 caps

10. Finn Russell – Racing 92 - (Vice-Captain) - 60 caps

9. Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors - 48 caps

1. Pierre Schoeman - Edinburgh Rugby - 6 caps

2. Stuart McInally - Edinburgh Rugby - 45 caps

3. Zander Fagerson - Glasgow Warriors – 44 caps

4. Sam Skinner – Exeter Chiefs – 17 caps

5. Grant Gilchrist - Edinburgh Rugby - (Vice-Captain) - 50 caps

6. Nick Haining - Edinburgh Rugby - 10 caps

7. Rory Darge - Glasgow Warriors - 1 cap

8. Magnus Bradbury - Edinburgh Rugby - 16 caps


16. George Turner - Glasgow Warriors - 22 caps

17. Oli Kebble - Glasgow Warriors - 11 caps

18. WP Nel – Edinburgh Rugby – 45 caps

19. Jamie Hodgson - Edinburgh Rugby - 3 caps

20. Andy Christie - Saracens - uncapped

21. Ben White - London Irish - 2 caps

22. Blair Kinghorn - Edinburgh Rugby - 29 caps

23. Mark Bennett - Edinburgh Rugby - 22 caps