Hawick’s Stuart Hogg and Darcy Graham still ever-presents as Scotland’s Six Nations campaign continues

Hawick’s Stuart Hogg and Darcy Graham have been ever-presents so far for the Scotland national rugby team during this year’s Six Nations tournament and that will continue away to Italy this weekend.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 1:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 1:24 pm
Hawick's Darcy Graham taking part in a Scotland training session in Edinburgh on Monday (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)
Hawick's Darcy Graham taking part in a Scotland training session in Edinburgh on Monday (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)

Captain and full-back Hogg, 29, and wing Graham, 24, are the only Borderers in the matchday line-up announced by head coach Gregor Townsend today, though flanker Rory Darge, getting his third cap, has played for both Melrose and Southern Knights.

Hogg is currently on 91 caps and Graham on 25.

The former is currently Scotland’s fourth-most capped player and only 19 appearances away from matching the record of 110 set by Kelso’s Ross Ford in 2017, as well as being the Scots’ leading try-scorer of all time with 25.

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Scotland captain Stuart Hogg playing for club side Exeter Chiefs against Sale Sharks on Sunday (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Kick-off for Scotland’s match against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome is 2.15pm, and it will be screened live on ITV.

Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Ali Price is set to make his 50th appearance for Scotland, and making up the rest of the starting XV are Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Kyle Steyn, Finn Russell, Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Sam Skinner, Grant Gilchrist, Hamish Watson and Matt Fagerson.

Saturday’s replacements are Stuart McInally, Allan Dell, Willem Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Magnus Bradbury, Ben Vellacott, Adam Hastings and Sione Tuipulotu.

The Scots head to Rome fourth in the table with five points from three games, having followed up their opening 20-17 home victory against England with back-to-back defeats away to Wales by the same scoreline and at home to France by 36-17. Their hosts are bottom of the table without any points to their name thus far.

Ex-Southern Knights forward Rory Darge pictured during a Scotland training session on Monday in Edinburgh (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)

Ex-Gala and Border Reivers star Townsend isn’t expecting an easy game this weekend, however, warning that the Italians pose a threat belying their standing as the competition’s basement side.

“We expect a team that’s shown in a lot of moments so far that they can be very dangerous both sides of the ball,” he said.

“They play with passion at home, they’ll take the game to us and I’m sure they’ll be targeting this game as one they believe they can win.”

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend overseeing a training session on Monday in Edinburgh (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)