Two Borderers on bench with Hogg in starting XV

Head coach Gregor Townsend, left, with Scotland captain John Barclay (picture by INPHO/Billy Stickland).
Head coach Gregor Townsend, left, with Scotland captain John Barclay (picture by INPHO/Billy Stickland).

A small sprinkling of Borders names graces the Scotland squad named yesterday (Wednesday) by head coach Gregor Townsend for the match against Wales which raises the curtain on the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship.

Ex-Hawick ace Stuart Hogg is back in the number 15 jersey at full back and named as vice-captain – he was a very late withdrawal from the squad which amassed a record-breaking win over Australia at Murrayfield in November, after injuring a hip in the pre-match warm-up.

On the bench is Melrose and Glasgow prop Jamie Bhatti, who made his international debut in last year’s Autumn Tests, along with Jedburgh-linked scrum half Greig Laidlaw, back after injury.

There are no places in sthe starting squad for Selkirk connected players, Alex Dunbar and Lee Jones.

Townsend said: “We’ve selected a squad we believe can start the championship with the intensity and speed required to win in Cardiff.”

Kick off at 2.15 in the Principalty Stadium, with the game live on BBC TV.