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Barclay only change for Scots in Paris

Flanker John Barclay is the only change to the Scotland line-up to face France in Paris on Sunday which includes Stuart Hogg at full-back who is set to win his 50th cap.

Ryan Wilson drops out of the squad after suffering an elbow infection but despite coming off in the 25th minute against Ireland hooker Fraser Brown is fit to play.

John Hardie comes onto the bench in the only change among the replacements which includes prop Simon Berghan who could win his first cap.

At 24 Hogg will become the youngest Scot to win 50 caps, breaking the previous record set by Richie Gray (26) at the 2015 World Cup.

Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “Congratulations to Hoggy on what will be a special milestone.

“It’s a fantastic personal achievement, especially at such a young age, which is a good indication of how talented an individual he is and how important he’s been to Scotland teams over the past five years.

“He’s a very exciting player and, at just 24, he has a huge amount to offer Scotland for many more years to come.”

Cotter added: “France in Paris is a monumental challenge. They have improved markedly since [Head Coach] Guy Noves took charge and will be smarting since their narrow defeat to England at Twickenham last weekend.

“We’re their next opportunity to get their campaign up and running and they’ll be intent on throwing every part of their considerable fire power at us this Sunday.

“We’ll have to match their ferocity while ensuring we take that – and all the other battles we can expect in this game – on our terms, whether that’s in collisions, in set-piece, at the breakdown or in the air.

“This will be an excellent test for this group of players: mentally, physically, tactically and of our skillsets under pressure.

“We will need to be at our relentless best once again.”

France have made just one change to their starting line-up with flanker Loann Goujon coming into the back-row for Damien Chouly who drops to the bench.

Elsewhere among the replacements hooker Christopher Tolofua and lock Julien Le Devedec replace Clément Maynadier and Arthur Iturria.

France: Scott Spedding; Noa Nakaitaci, Gael Fickou, Remi Lamerat, Virimi Vakatawa; Camille Lopez, Baptiste Serin; Cyril Baille, Guilhem Guirado (capt), Uini Atonio; Sebastien Vahaamahina, Yoann Maestri; Loann Goujon, Kevin Gourdon, Louis Picamoles

Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Rabah Slimani, Xavier Chiocci, Julien Le Devedec, Damien Chouly, Maxime Machenaud, Jean-Marc Doussain, Yoann Huget

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw; Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Jonny Gray; John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Josh Strauss

Replacements: Ross Ford, Gordon Reid, Simon Berghan, Tim Swinson, John Hardie, Alistair Price, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett

 

 

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