Scotland opt against throwing Zander Fagerson back into action in England clash

Zander Fagerson during Scotland Captains Run in 2022 Six Nations Zander Fagerson has not been included in the side for this weekend's match at Twickenham (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland have decided against throwing Zander Fagerson straight back into action in Saturday’s Six Nations opener away to England.

Forwards coach John Dalziel said on Tuesday the Glasgow prop was in contention for the Calcutta Cup showdown despite being sidelined since the start of December with a hamstring injury.

However, management have opted to give the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad member more time to get up to speed as he has not been included in the side for this weekend’s match at Twickenham.

WP Nel, the 36-year-old Edinburgh prop, takes over from Fagerson in the number three jersey.

Other notable selections include London Irish scrum-half Ben White getting the nod over regular number nine Ali Price, who is not even on the bench.

Chris Harris – who starts on the bench – is another surprise omission from the XV, with Huw Jones taking over from the Gloucester centre.

Kyle Steyn has beaten off competition from Blair Kinghorn and Sean Maitland to take the place of the injured Darcy Graham on the wing.

Edinburgh flanker Luke Crosbie is the least experienced player in the 23 with two caps. He starts at number seven.

Key duo Stuart Hogg and Duhan van der Merwe are both in the XV despite recent fitness concerns.

There is no surprise that Finn Russell is selected at stand-off after forcing his way back to the head of the queue for the number 10 shirt with a couple of impressive displays against New Zealand and Argentina in November following his omission from the initial squad for the Autumn Tests.

Scotland team to play England in Six Nations

Forwards: 1 Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), 2 George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), 3 WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby), 4 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), 5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), 6 Jamie Ritchie (CAPTAIN, Edinburgh Rugby), 7 Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby), 8 Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

Backs: 9 Ben White (London Irish), 10 Finn Russell (Racing 92), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby), 12 Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), 13 Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), 14 Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), 15 Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), 17 Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), 18 Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors), 19 Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs), 20 Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors), 21 George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), 22 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby), 23 Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby)

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