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Scotland unchanged for England

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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named an unchanged side to face England in the Calcutta Cup clash on Saturday.

The Scots fought back from a 10-point deficit on two occasions against France and scored 12 unanswered points in the final quarter to post their first win of the 2018 Six Nations, with the two-try showing rewarded with reselection for the starting XV.

There are, however, three changes to the bench with fit-again prop Willem Nel and lock Tim Swinson – both of whom returned to the squad this week – named among the replacements in place of Jon Welsh and Ben Toolis.

Centre Nick Grigg is the only change among the backs replacements as a reward for his consistency of performance for Glasgow Warriors, highlighted in his man-of-the-match winning performance for the club in their bonus-point win over Cheetahs last weekend.

Townsend said: “The players put a huge amount of effort into our win over France. They found a way to win and kept attacking the opposition up until the final whistle.

“England are the number two side in the world and have shown a very good level of consistency in the past couple of seasons. This is due to the quality of their playing and coaching staff, who have done a tremendous job.

“They have a very good defence, an excellent set-piece and like to get 10 and 12 on the ball as much as possible in attack. Taking on England is going to be a huge challenge and we are well aware that only our very best will be good enough in this fixture.

“As always our supporters will play a vital role throughout the match and we’re delighted to be back at BT Murrayfield with the backing of our home fans.”

The unchanged starting side means Scotland’s British & Irish Lions backline quintet of Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell and Tommy Seymour return, with the Glasgow Warriors partnership of Pete Horne and Huw Jones completing the division.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 David Denton, 21 Ali Price, 22 Nick Grigg, 23 Blair Kinghorn

Date: Saturday, February 24
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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