Taylor to make long-awaited Scotland comeback against France

Ruben Hill
August 16, 2019

Duncan Taylor will start for Scotland for the first time in two years in Saturday's Summer Test against France.

Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally, whose try sparked Scotland's dramatic comeback in the Calcutta Cup and subsequent retention of the trophy in the Six Nations finale, is again named as captain with Exeter Chiefs' Stuart Hogg and McInally's club colleague John Barclay, back from injury, named as vice-captains.

Four players - Glasgow centre Nick Grigg, Edinburgh scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, Glasgow wing/centre Kyle Steyn and Newcastle back-row forward Gary Graham - have already been allowed to return to their clubs after being cut from the training squad.

Saturday's match is the first of two matches with France, with the return at Murrayfield the following Saturday, and the Scots will also play Georgia away and at home before next month's World Cup in Japan commences.

The 32-year-old Hong Kong-born flanker, who was Scotland's skipper until he ruptured his Achilles tendon in March 2018, is one of a trio of players to get a Test start after a long absence from the team.

McInally along with Jamie Bhatti and Simon Berghan form the front-row with Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist in second-row with vice-captain Stuart Hogg at fullback.

He suffered a devastating knee injury on duty for club side Saracens and has been battling for fitness ever since, but the versatile centre, who can also fill slots across the back three, will make his long-awaited return as Gregor Townsend's team kick-off the first of four World Cup warm-up clashes at the Allianz Riviera.

Adam Hastings has a first start at flyhalf since last November's worldwide against Argentina and will be partnered by Glasgow Warriors club mate Ali Price in Nice.

Fellow midfielder Rory Hutchinson and lock Scott Cummings could make their debuts off the bench against Les Bleus.

"A huge amount of work has gone in throughout the past two months in order to deliver our best level of performance in the Rugby World Cup", said Townsend.

Replacements: 16-George Turner, 17-Gordon Reid, 18-Zander Fagerson, 19-Scott Cummings, 20-Matt Fagerson, 21-George Horne, 22-Rory Hutchinson, 23-Blair Kinghorn.

Townsend added: "As a coaching group we're pleased to be able to take a strong squad across to France for this opening Test".

'We're now very much looking forward to seeing our men perform in these Test matches'.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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