Scotland v England: Magnus Bradbury returns in only change to starting XV

No 8 is over a thigh strain to replace Nick Haining for Calcutta Cup clash, while Simon Berghan recovers from illness to join the bench

Magnus Bradbury has recovered from a.thigh strain. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Magnus Bradbury has recovered from a.thigh strain. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

MAGNUS BRADBURY has returned from a thigh strain to start at No 8 in Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash against England, in the only change to the starting XV from last week’s opening weekend loss to Ireland in Dublin. Club-mate Nick Haining drops to the bench with Cornell du Preez missing out altogether.

The only other change to the squad is the return of Simon Berghan, who dropped out on the morning of the Ireland match through illness ahead of WP Nel on the bench.

“We were proud of parts of our performance in Dublin at a very difficult venue,” said head coach Gregor Townsend. “The challenge for the squad is to replicate that level and take our chances when they come, in order to win tight games.

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“We were disappointed not to beat Ireland but the opportunity to face England, against whom we are bidding to retain the Calcutta Cup, is one that excites players, coaches and supporters alike.”

“England are an excellent team whose run to the Rugby World Cup final was no fluke,” Townsend added. “They will be smarting from their opener in Paris and Eddie [Jones, Head Coach] will have them primed to come to Edinburgh and put in an improved performance.

“This famous fixture is one that stands out given the history surrounding it and we will have to be at our very best to stand a chance of winning against our oldest rivals.”

Meanwhile, England have made five changes to their starting XV after last Sunday’s loss versus France. In the pack, Mako Vunipola returns from injury at loose-head prop, George Kruis comes into the second-row alongside Maro Itoje and Lewis Ludlam is at blindside flanker. Behind the scrum, Willi Heinz comes in at scrum-half, and Jamie Josephreplaces the injured Manu Tuilangi in the centre.

Scotland (v England at Murrayfield, Saturday 4.45pm): S Hogg; S Maitland, H Jones, S Johnson, B Kinghorn; A Hastings, A Price; R Sutherland, F Brown, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, J Gray J Ritchie, H Watson, N Haining. Subs: S McInally, A Dell, S Berghan, B Toolis, N Haining, G Horne, R Hutchinson, C Harris.

England: G Furbank; J May, J Joseph, O Farrell, E Daly; G Ford, W Heinz; M Vunipola, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, G Kruis, L Ludlam, S Underhill, T Curry. Subs: T Dunn, E Genge,  W Stuart, J Launchbury, C Lawes, B Earl, B Youngs, O Devoto.

More to follow …

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About David Barnes 3043 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Only other change I would have liked to see, given the players availble, would have been Mattie Scott for Scott Johnson.
    Johnson was good against the Irish but Scott has been a revelation this year and has been the form centre.
    I hope he gets his chance later

  2. He’s a proper number 8 and gives us good balance with Ritchie and Watson but I get why he’s on the bench and he’ll gives us real impact in the last 20-30 mins.

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