Scotland name team to play England in Calcutta Cup

Scotland have named their team to play England away in the Calcutta Cup on Saturday.

Scotland's Hamish Watson will start against England. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU
Scotland's Hamish Watson will start against England. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

And while the starting XV is as expected, with Hamish Watson replacing the injured John Hardie in the back row, there is a surprise on the bench.

The uncapped Cornell du Preez is among the substitutes and the Edinburgh man could make his international bow at Twickenham.

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South African-born du Preez is a project player who is eligible for Scotland after fulfilling the three-year residency requirement. He can play at No 8 or flanker.

Watson, meanwhile, starts the match after coming on for Hardie when the latter was injured in the win over Wales at BT Murrayfield.

The Edinburgh back-rower started both the Scots’ first two games against Ireland and France but was named on the bench against Wales last time out after losing his place to Hardie.

But with his club-mate ruled out for the remainder of the tournament after sustaining a knee injury against the Welsh, Watson has won a reprieve in time to take on Eddie Jones’ record-chasing England side on Saturday.

Tim Visser, a try-scoring hero against Wales, retains his place on the wing, with Sean Maitland ruled out with a rib injury.

A win for Scotland would given them the Triple Crown for the first time in 17 years and give them a chance of winning the Six Nations Championship.

Scotland have not won at Twickenham since 1983 and England remain on course for a second successive Grand Slam and could equal the All Blacks’ Test record of 18 straight wins if they can overcome Vern Cotter’s team.

“We have another two games to go in this Championship and this next one is obviously pretty important,” said Scotland coach Cotter. “There’s a lot to play for and several reasons why we should be able to get up for this game.

“We’ve rested, recovered and prepared as best we can for this game. We’ve asked some questions of ourselves and the areas we think we can improve and we’re confident we can play better as a team. That’s our next challenge, to step that up.

“The challenge is for us to combine the best parts of our performances so far in this campaign in to one excellent performance at Twickenham this Saturday.

“We’ll need that to put us in a position to win this game and will enjoy the challenge of doing that against an England team that hasn’t lost in a while.”

Scotland team to play England (Twickenham, Saturday, 4pm)

Hogg (Glasgow); Seymour (Glasgow), Jones (Stormers), Dunbar (Glasgow), Visser (Harlequins), Russell (Glasgow), Price (Glasgow); Reid (Glasgow), Brown (Glasgow), Fagerson (Glasgow), R Gray (Toulouse), J Gray (Glasgow), Barclay (Scarlets, capt), Watson (Edinburgh), Wilson (Glasgow).

Replacements: Ford (Edinburgh), Dell (Edinburgh), Berghan (Edinburgh), Swinson (Glasgow), Du Preez (Edinburgh), Pyrgos (Glasgow), Weir (Edinburgh), Bennett (Glasgow).