Can Scotland Take Down France?

Former Scotland captain John Barclay will make his first start for his country in almost a year-and-a-half as the Men from the North take on France Saturday.


The 32-year-old Hong Kong-born flanker, who was Scotland's skipper until he ruptured his Achilles tendon in March of 2018, is one of a trio of players to get a Test start after a long absence from the team.    

Flyhalf Adam Hastings—son of Scotland legend Gavin Hastings—gets his first start since a victory over Argentina in 2018, and Ali Price will be his half-back partner.

Duncan Taylor will partner Huw Jones in the centers with the former making his first Test appearance in over two years due to a spate of injuries.  

Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally retains the captaincy, despite the return of Barclay, having led them in their 38-38 draw with England in the Six Nations earlier this year which had seen the Scots storm back to lead 38-31 after trailing 31-0.

Head coach Gregor Townsend names his World Cup squad on September 3, which comes after a double header with France and a trip to play Georgia -- who will also play the Scots in Edinburgh on September 6.

"A huge amount of work has gone in throughout the past two months in order to deliver our best level of performance in the Rugby World Cup," said Townsend.

"These four Tests are a vital part of that process in terms of testing our systems and combinations but also in seeing which players put their best foot forward when it comes to selection for the final 31-man group going to Japan next month."

The Scots -- who were judged unlucky to lose to Australia in the 2015 quarter-finals -- begin their Pool A campaign against their toughest rivals Ireland on September 22.

They go on to play Samoa on September 30, Russia on October 9 and round their pool play off with hosts Japan on October 13.

Scotland Team To Face France


15. Stuart Hogg; 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Duncan Taylor, 11. Byron McGuigan; 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Ali Price; 8. Josh Strauss, 7. Jamie Ritchie, 6. John Barclay; 5. Grant Gilchrist, 4. Ben Toolis; 3. Simon Berghan, 2. Stuart McInally (capt), 1. Jamie Bhatti.

Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Gordon Reid, 18. Zander Fagerson, 19. Scott Cummings, 20. Matt Fagerson, 21. George Horne, 22. Rory Hutchinson, 23. Blair Kinghorn

Coach: Gregor Townsend (SCO)

© Agence France-Presse


New England Free Jacks Side For 1st Tune-up

The New England Free Jacks are one of three new teams set to make their mark on the MLR this year, and they'll get a chance to have their first preseason game this weekend against the New England Independents. 

Saracens Staring Automatic Relegation In The Face

Things could go from bad to worse for Saracens, who are now looking automatic relegation from the Gallagher Premiership squarely in the face.

Sexton To Captain 35-Man Ireland Team For Six Nations

Following the retirement of 124-cap captain Rory Best, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has chosen flyhalf Johnny Sexton as the new man for the job, beginning with this year's Six Nations. 

Old Glory D.C. Reveals Initial 36-Man MLR Roster

One of Major League Rugby's three new teams, Old Glory D.C., has announced to the public its initial 36-man squad for the upcoming season. 

Scotland's Townsend Names Six Nations Squad, Elects Hogg As Captain

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named his squad for the upcoming Six Nations, appointing 72-cap fullback Stuart Hogg as captain. 

A Look At Champions Cup Standings & Scenarios

There are major implications across the board this weekend, as the pool stages of the Heineken Champions Cup come to a close. 

Wayne Pivac Names First Wales Six Nations Side

Teenager Louis Rees-Zammit's eye-catching season with Premiership side Gloucester has earned him a call-up to defending champion Wales' Six Nations squad, who embark on their first campaign under new coach Wayne Pivac.

Four More Join Leinster In Champions Cup Quarterfinals

Clermont, Toulouse, Racing 92, and Exeter Chiefs joined Leinster in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup over the weekend, while title holders Saracens kept their hopes of qualifying alive with a 22-15 win over Ospreys. 

Club Rugby Weekend Results

It was a slower weekend on the club rugby front, as most conferences are still in winter hibernation. However, the Red River conference was in full swing, with D1 & D2 play getting started, and D3 picking up where it left off after the fall. 

Rugby ATL Opens 2020 With A Bang

The anticipation, the hype, the pregame festivities. All were rewarded with a great opening day of rugby from Rugby ATL, one of Major League Rugby's three brand new teams.