Six Nations: Stuart Hogg to start for Scotland against France

Hogg (left) came on as a replacement in the defeat by Wales
Hogg (left) came on as a replacement in the defeat by Wales

RBS Six Nations: Scotland v France

Murrayfield Stadium
Sunday, 26 February
1500 GMT
Live on BBC Two, red button, BBC 5 live, Radio Scotland 810 MW and online; live text commentary & score updates on BBC Sport website

Teenage full-back Stuart Hogg will make his first Scotland start as Andy Robinson makes four changes for Sunday's Six Nations visit by France.

The 19-year-old, who was replacement against Wales, is named along with Glasgow Warriors team-mates Graeme Morrison and John Barclay.

Mike Blair is preferred to British and Irish Lions team-mate Chris Cusiter at scrum-half.

And Blair's Edinburgh team-mate, Greig Laidlaw, retains his place at fly-half.

Ruaridh Jackson's return from injury had raised question marks over the number 10 jersey, but he fails to make the 22, with Duncan Weir on the bench.

There are two positional changes, with Rory Lamont moving to the right wing and his elder brother, Sean, to outside centre.

Hogg came on after 16 minutes of the 27-13 defeat in Cardiff to replace the injured Max Evans and is delighted to be starting at Murrayfield.

"It's a dream come true to play international rugby," he said in a media release from Scotland Rugby.

"When I was a kid, we'd play full contact rugby in the street in the Weensland area of Hawick.

"I'd be about five and there would be kids there up to about 12 or 13 years-old and you'd always think about what it would be like to play for Scotland.

"Now I've got the opportunity to win for Scotland at Murrayfield - brilliant."

Scotland player Greig Laidlaw
Laidlaw will make his second start of the Six Nations campaign

Scotland began the campaign with Dan Parks at 10, but the Cardiff player announced his international retirement after the opening defeat by England.

Jackson missed the first two matches of the campaign after picking up a hamstring injury but has since come through two matches for his club, scoring 19 points.

However, Robinson has opted to retain Laidlaw alongside Edinburgh team-mate Blair as his half-back pairing.

Morrison returns to form a physical midfield with Sean Lamont, perhaps giving a clue to Robinson's approach to the match.

Robinson explained: "Graeme Morrison has worked hard back at Glasgow and captained the team in their games against Scarlets and Connacht.

"He is a good ball-carrier and has something to prove on his return to the Scotland team.

"Stuart Hogg did well off the bench in Cardiff, stood out in the A team victory over England Saxons and has been one of Glasgow's most consistent performers this season. He fully deserves his first start."

Barclay comes in at blind-side flanker, replacing Al Strokosch, who has a fractured hand.

Winger Evans remains sidelined with an ankle injury, along with Kelly Brown and Joe Ansbro.

Lock Jim Hamilton was unable to train earlier this week but has made it into the starting XV.

Richie Vernon and Scott Lawson return to the bench after picking up knocks last time out.

Scotland have lost both their opening two games in the tournament, while France defeated Italy in their opening fixture.

The World Cup finalists' second-round match against Ireland was postponed until 4 March because of a frozen pitch at the Stade de France.


Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Rory Lamont, Lee Jones, Sean Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Greig Laidlaw, Mike Blair, Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford (captain), Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, John Barclay, Ross Rennie, David Denton. Replacements: Scott Lawson, Ed Kalman, Alastair Kellock, Richie Vernon, Chris Cusiter, Duncan Weir, Nick De Luca.