Hawick’s Stuart Hogg, Rory Sutherland and Darcy Graham reunited in Scotland starting line-up to face England in Six Nations opener

Scottish national rugby team head coach Gregor Townsend has revealed the team he plans to put out against England at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, February 5.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 2:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 2:30 pm
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg during a training session at the Oriam in Edinburgh, last week  (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group/SRU)
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg during a training session at the Oriam in Edinburgh, last week (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group/SRU)

Fellow Borderer Stuart Hogg continues as captain for the Scots’ 2022 Guinness Six Nations opener, kicking 4.45pm, as they look to retain the Calcutta Cup they won in London a year ago after edging out Eddie Jones’s side 11-6.

Kicking off at 4.45pm, it will be the full-back’s ninth Calcutta Cup match.

The 29-year-old is joined by two other ex-Hawick players in the hosts’ starting line-up, Worcester Warriors prop Rory Sutherland and Edinburgh winger Darcy Graham.

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Darcy Graham, left, with Ali Price during a Scotland training session last week in Edinburgh (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group/SRU)

Saturday’s game will take Exeter Chiefs star Hogg’s tally of caps to 89, Sutherland’s to 17 and Graham’s to 23.

It will be the first time the three Borderers have started a Scotland game together since last February’s 27-23 away victory against France.Hogg’s Exeter Chiefs team-mate Jonny Gray returns to a Scottish starting line-up for the first time since March 2021 and he is joined by Graham’s Edinburgh sidekick Grant Gilchrist in the second row.

Accompanying Sutherland, 29, among Scotland’s forwards are hooker George Turner and prop Zander Fagerson.

Edinburgh’s Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson join Glasgow Warrior Matt Fagerson in the back row.

Rory Sutherland during a Scotland training session in Edinburgh last week (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group/SRU)

Racing 92’s Finn Russell and Glasgow Warrior Ali Price line up at No 9 and No 10 respectively for the fourth game running.

Worcester Warrior Duhan van der Merwe starts on the wing, with Graham, 24, on the opposite flank.

Gloucester’s Chris Harris and Glasgow Warriors’ Sam Johnson combine in the centre again.

On the bench are Ben White, Blair Kinghorn, Sione Tuipulotu, Magnus Bradbury, Sam Skinner, Willem Nel, Pierre Schoeman and Stuart McInally.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend during a training session in Edinburgh on Monday (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group/SRU)

Ex-Gala and Border Reivers star Townsend, 48, said: “We feel privileged to be involved in the oldest international rugby fixture on Saturday against our nearest rivals.

“We are aware of how much winning at Twickenham boosted the spirits of our supporters at the start of last year’s tournament, and we’re looking forward to playing in front of them in person this year.

“We are under no illusions about the tough challenge we have ahead of us against an England side who defeated the world champions in their last outing.

“The starting 15 we have named has a consistent feel to it, which is great for cohesion, but we will also benefit from returning players such as Jonny Gray and Rory Sutherland, who have been important players for us in recent seasons.

“Ben White has been in very good form for London Irish and has trained well in the last two weeks so can approach his first involvement at test level with real confidence.”

Scotland’s last successful defence of the Calcutta Cup was in 2019, a 38-38 draw at Twickenham being enough to keep it in their trophy cabinet for another 12 months following their 25-13 victory against England at Murrayfield 12 months previously. Before that, they’d not kept hold of it for two years running since 1983 and 1984 with Jim Telfer as boss.