France v Scotland: Duncan Taylor returns at inside centre

John Barclay at blindside flanker but Stuart McInally captains side from hooker, while Rory Hutchinson and Scott Cummings set to make debuts off bench

Duncan Taylor has been selected at inside centre for Scotland's first World Cup warm-up match against France on Saturday. Imag: © Craig Watson -

DUNCAN TAYLOR will make his first Scotland appearance since June 2017, after recovering from a knee ligament injury to be selected at inside centre for Gregor Townsend’s side in their first World Cup warm-up match against France in Nice on Saturday.

John Barclay also returns to the side at blindside flanker after missing the last international season with an Achilles injury, but the captaincy is handed to hooker Stuart McInally.

Meanwhile Northamptoin Saints utility-back Rory Hutchinson and Glasgow Warriors second-row Scott Cummings are set to make their international debuts off the bench.

“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,” said head coach Gregor Townsend. “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.”

Scotland team to play France (at the Allianz Rivier on Saturday 17 August – kick-off 8pm BST, 9pm local time): Stuart Hogg VICE CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs); Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks); Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors); Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally CAPTAIN, Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), John Barclay VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Josh Strauss (Blue Bulls).

Substitutes: George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh).

Big in Japan: all or nothing for Stuart Hogg as World Cup prep gets serious

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1874 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Interesting selection and a good balance of definites, probables and possibles in terms of who will make the plane. Great to see Taylor in the team after his injuries as well. Theres enough quality in there to compete on Saturday and it’s nowhere near our strongest team. That bodes well for the world cup. Come on Scotland!

  2. Gregor has some real hard choices to whittle down his team.
    This looks a strong selection even with a few big names missing.
    Suspect last chance saloon for the likes of Strauss and Ritchie to get on the plane,
    so should see a big game from them.
    Serious gas with Hogg, Jones and Graham in same team.and also excited to see how Taylor/Jones goes.

    • Nice to see Taylor back. I’d have thought part of the story might be no Finn Russell even on the bench.

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