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Scotland v Wales talking points

Scotland will aim to halt a long run of defeats against Wales in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash at Murrayfield. Wales are chasing a 10th successive victory in the fixture, with Scotland not having triumphed since 2007.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the key talking points.

HOW WILL SCOTLAND FARE WITHOUT CAPTAIN GREIG LAIDLAW?

Gloucester scrum-half Laidlaw has skippered Scotland in a record 31 Tests, but an ankle injury suffered against France 12 days ago means he will miss the rest of this season's Six Nations. An inspired presence with his leadership and world-class goalkicking ability, the 31-year-old is likely to leave a considerable void, but Scotland need to regroup quickly and show they can still flourish without such a talismanic figure.

STUART HOGG v LEIGH HALFPENNY - AN UNOFFICIAL BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS TRIAL?

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is spoilt for choice when it comes to full-back options for this summer's New Zealand tour, with Scotland star Hogg and Wales ace Halfpenny consistently making their presence felt. Brilliant attacker Hogg has scored five tries in his last three Scotland appearances, while Halfpenny is closing in on 600 points for his country as one of the world's premier goalkickers. They will be among the headline acts on Saturday.

WILL NORTH LIGHT UP WALES?

Wales will head to Edinburgh with arguably their most destructive attacking weapon back in the armoury. Wing George North missed the 21-16 loss to England earlier this month because of injury, but Wales' prolific try-scorer - 28 touchdowns in 66 Tests and lying fourth on his country's all-time list behind Shane Williams, Gareth Thomas and Ieuan Evans - is now back in the ranks. He could make the difference in what is likely to be a close and exciting contest.

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