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Fraser Brown handed 50th cap as Scotland pack shows three changes

The Glasgow hooker is joined by Edinburgh forwards Grant Gilchrist and Nick Haining in the team to face France.

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Fraser Brown will bring up a half-century of caps on Sunday (Donall Farmer/PA)

Fraser Brown will bring up a half-century of caps on Sunday (Donall Farmer/PA)

Fraser Brown will bring up a half-century of caps on Sunday (Donall Farmer/PA)

Scotland hooker Fraser Brown will win his 50th cap when Gregor Townsend’s team welcome Grand Slam-chasing France to Murrayfield on Sunday.

The Glasgow forward’s return is one of three changes to the pack which helped beat Italy a fortnight ago in Rome.

Edinburgh pair Grant Gilchrist and Nick Haining are also recalled to the starting XV as their club-mates Stuart McInally, Ben Toolis and Magnus Bradbury make way.

Exeter lock Sam Skinner is named on the bench as he eyes his first appearance since last summer after returning from the hamstring injury that cost him a place at the World Cup.

The replacements also features the return of 27-times capped Worcester stand-off Duncan Weir, who could make his first Scotland appearance since the 2017 championship, while Glasgow’s Kyle Steyn also hopes to get a run-out for his debut.

Les Bleus have already taken care of England, Italy and Wales but Townsend hopes his side can end their hopes of a Six Nations clean sweep.

The head coach said: “This week we face a France team that looks galvanised since the World Cup, with a potential Grand Slam in their sights following impressive wins over England, Italy and Wales.

Gregor Townsend
Gregor Townsend insists his side can beat France (Ian Rutherford/PA)

“We have a lot of respect for their coaching team and the quality of player they possess throughout their squad, many of them just in their early stages of their international careers. We’re going to have to deliver our best rugby of the championship in order to beat a team in such good form.

“France’s victories have been built on an aggressive and well-organised defence so the precision, decision-making and effort in our attacking game will have to be very good in order to get in behind them this weekend.”

PA