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Taylor ready for his long-awaited Scots return after two-year absence

 

By Duncan Bech

Duncan Taylor will make his first Scotland appearance for two years when he starts against France in Nice on Saturday.

The 29-year-old has not featured since defeat to Fiji on the 2017 summer tour of the Pacific.

He suffered a devastating knee injury on duty for club side Saracens and has been battling for fitness ever since, but the versatile centre, who can also fill slots across the back three, will make his long-awaited return as Gregor Townsend's team kick-off the first of four World Cup warm-up clashes at the Allianz Riviera.

There is also a return for former skipper John Barclay as he wins his first cap since March last year.

Townsend is looking forward to seeing how his men are shaping up. The Dark Blues boss has already slashed his training group from 44 to 40 but now has just three matches from which he must make the major calls before announcing who will be in the 31-man squad.

He said: "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.

"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.

"We're now very much looking forward to seeing our men perform."

Scotland: S Hogg; D Graham, H Jones, D Taylor, B McGuigan; A Hastings, A Price; J Bhatti, S McInally, S Berghan; B Toolis, G Gilchrist; J Barclay, J Ritchie, J Strauss. Reps: G Turner, G Reid, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, M Fagerson, G Horne, R Hutchinson, B Kinghorn.

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