Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named the Scotland team to face France in the opening Summer Test match at the Allianz Riviera in Nice this Saturday.
The match will be the first of four Test matches for the national team in the coming weeks – Scotland host France in the return fixture next Saturday at BT Murrayfield, before away and home Tests against Georgia – all of which are designed to refine the selection decisions of Head Coach Gregor Townsend, who will name his final squad for Rugby World Cup 2019 next month.
Townsend said: “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.
“These four Tests are a vital part of that process in terms of testing our systems and combinations but also in seeing which players put their best foot forward when it comes to selection for the final 31-man group going to Japan next month.”
Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally returns as captain having led the side to the dramatic retention of the Calcutta Cup in the Guinness Six Nations finale earlier this year and takes to the field in a near all-Edinburgh pack.
He partners tighthead prop Simon Berghan and the club’s new signing Jamie Bhatti in the front-row, with Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis returning to start in the second-row as they did at Twickenham.
John Barclay (vice-captain) and Jamie Ritchie complete the capital club’s contribution in the back-row with Blue Bulls number 8 Josh Strauss starting at the tail of the pack.
Glasgow Warriors stand-off Adam Hastings is handed his first start since the 2018 Autumn Test victory over Argentina, alongside clubmate and scrum-half Ali Price, while a new-look centre partnership of Duncan Taylor (Saracens) and Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) mans the midfield for the first time.
Full-back and vice-captain Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) anchors the back-three with fellow Hawick man Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) and Sale Sharks Byron McGuigan on the wing to complete the starting side.
There are notable inclusions in the match day squad for Glasgow Warriors lock Scott Cummings and Northampton Saints midfielder Rory Hutchinson, who will make their Test debut if called upon from the bench in Nice this Saturday.
Scotland team to play France at the Allianz Riviera, Summer Test