Russell and Redpath start for Scotland against England

Finn Russell converts a penalty 31/10/2020
Finn Russell returns to the starting XV and Cameron Redpath will make his debut after Gregor Townsend announced his team to face England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Finn Russell returns to the starting XV and Cameron Redpath will make his debut after Gregor Townsend announced his team to face England at Twickenham on Saturday.

No.10 Russell missed the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup through injury but takes his place in the playmaker role once again for Scotland’s 2021 Guinness Six Nations opener.

Full-back Stuart Hogg will lead the side in the Calcutta Cup contest while 21-year-old Redpath will earn his first senior international cap after being called up to the squad for the first time.

The inclusion of Russell and Redpath are among five changes made by Townsend to the team which defeated Wales in their final match of the 2020 Championship to finish fourth.

A new pair of wings will feature as Sean Maitland and Duhan van der Merwe both start in the 150th anniversary year of the first ever international match which was played between the two sides.

Matt Fagerson is at No.8 and George Turner starts at hooker to make his Championship debut while Ali Price will partner Russell in the half-backs and Chris Harris joins Redpath in the centres.

Up front Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson will pack down with hooker Turner in the front-row, Scott Cummings and Jonny Gray continue their second-row partnership and Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie complete the pack.

Edinburgh hooker David Cherry will make his Scotland debut if called up from the replacements. WP Nel and Oli Kebble are the other front-row cover, alongside fellow forwards Richie Gray and Gary Graham. Scott Steele, Jaco van der Walt and Huw Jones complete the matchday 23.

Townsend said: “This most historic of fixtures against England is a great start to the 2021 Guinness Six Nations and a challenge we will fully embrace with the objective of playing to our potential and ultimately lifting our supporters in these difficult times.

“We learned a lot about ourselves and where the game is going during our Autumn campaign, and we aim to build on this base during the next seven weeks. We are set for a huge challenge against England as we will be facing one of the best teams in the world.

“It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new player into our squad and we are looking forward to Cam Redpath winning his first cap on Saturday. We have been really impressed with Cam’s contributions in the time he has been with us in camp.

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“There are a number of experienced players in the backline to help make his transition to Test rugby go as smoothly as possible, and he has the mindset and skillset to thrive at this level.

“The opportunity of competing for the Calcutta Cup against our oldest rivals is something to get Scots around the world excited about.”

To mark the 150th anniversary, each Scotland player in the starting XV will have the corresponding name from the 1871 team embroidered onto their shirt to connect with the side which faced England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh 1871.

Scotland XV

15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 80 caps

14. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 50 caps

13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 23 caps

12. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) – 0 caps

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 5 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 51 caps

9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 11 caps

2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps

3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps

4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps

5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 61 caps

6. Jamie Ritchie VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 23 caps

7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 36 caps

8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps


16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 0 caps

17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps

18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 40 caps

19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps

20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps

21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 1 cap

22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap

23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 26 caps