Scotland's Russell starts in Six Nations finale against Wales

London (AFP) –


Finn Russell will start for Scotland in their Six Nations finale away to Wales at Llanelli this weekend after being named at fly-half by coach Gregor Townsend on Thursday.

Russell's international exile ended when he came off the bench during last week's 48-7 warm-up thrashing of Georgia at Murrayfield.

Meanwhile Scotland captain Stuart Hogg and lock Jonny Gray are back in the starting line-up after helping Exeter clinch a European Champions Cup and English Premiership double during the previous fortnight.

Gifted playmaker Russell, now with Paris-based Racing 92, the losing Champions Cup finalists, had not featured for Scotland since last year's World Cup after disciplinary issues and a falling out with Townsend saw him miss the opening rounds of the Six Nations.

But player and coach have since repaired their relationship, with Russell looking sharp against Georgia.

Adam Hastings, the starting fly-half against the Lelos, drops to the bench as does try-scoring debutant Duhan van der Merwe.

Blair Kinghorn replaces Van der Merwe after vacating Hogg's full-back berth.

Victory on Saturday will give Scotland their first success on Welsh soil since 2002 and mean they end the Championship with an encouraging three wins from five games.

The match has been moved to Llanelli's Parc Y Scarlets after Wales' Principality Stadium headquarters in Cardiff was commissioned as a field hospital by the Welsh government in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scotland (15-1)

Stuart Hogg (capt); Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, James Lang, Blair Kinghorn; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Blade Thomson, Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie; Jonny Gray, Scott Cummings; Zander Fagerson, Fraser Brown, Rory Sutherland

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Oli Kebble, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Cornell du Preez, Scott Steele, Adam Hastings, Duhan van der Merwe