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Darge makes timely comeback to face France

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Scotland coach Gregor Townsend made three changes to the side that will host France in the second round of the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday.

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Rory Darge is back and will lead the side alongside Finn Russell while Grant Gilchrist also returns to international duty.

Darge has not played since injuring a knee against Edinburgh in December. It was initially feared that the 23-year-old would need months to recover, but scans showed the damage was not as severe as first thought and his return is a timely one.

These are forced changes following the news that Luke Crosbie and Richie Gray will miss the remainder of the championship through injury.

Scotland survived a whirlwind second half onslaught by Wales, thereby narrowly holding on to secure a 27-26 victory last weekend.

Fresh from a thrilling try brace in the opening half against Wales, Duhan van der Merwe joins fellow wing Kyle Steyn and fullback Kyle Rowe in the back three positions.

Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones form the centre pairing for the seventh consecutive championship match.

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Russell and Ben White remain at 10 and nine respectively, the former having landed 12 points from the tee in Cardiff against Wales.

Pierre Schoeman, who scored a fourth Scotland try last weekend, will occupy the loosehead prop berth, with Zander Fagerson again named at tighthead and George Turner completing the front row from hooker.

Gilchrist joins forces with Scott Cummings in the second row, with Matt Fagerson shifting to blindside flank and Jack Dempsey at No. 8 to complete a back row completed by Darge.

Propping duo Alec Hepburn and Elliot Millar-Mills, fresh from making their Scotland debuts against Wales, are once more named among the replacements, as are Ewan Ashman and Sam Skinner. Andy Christie is poised for his first Six Nations action since facing the same opposition in 2022.

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Scotland: 15 Kyle Rowe, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell (captain), 9 Ben White, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge (captain), 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Andy Christie, 21 George Horne, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Cameron Redpath

Date: Saturday. February 10
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 14.15 (15.15 CET; 14.15 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Source @ScotlandRugby

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