Scotland team to play France: Finn Russell named captain - Ruck

Scotland team to play France: Finn Russell named captain

Finn Russell will captain the Scotland team to play France in a significant shake-up to Gregor Townsend’s starting line-up for the upcoming The Famous Grouse Nations Series clash against France at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

After his outstanding performance with two tries against Italy, Darcy Graham retains his spot in the back three alongside Duhan van der Merwe and Blair Kinghorn.

The formidable center partnership of Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones, both recognized in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Team of the Championship, reunites with Tuipulotu also serving as one of the vice-captains.

In the crucial playmaking roles, we see a fresh half-back pairing, with Russell taking charge as the captain while linking up with scrum-half Ben White. The changes reflect Scotland’s determination to excel in the upcoming encounter with France.

In the pack, Matt Fagerson switches to blindside flanker, as part of a back row also containing openside Hamish Watson and No 8 Jack Dempsey.

The experienced heads of Richie Gray and vice-captain Grant Gilchrist – 135 caps between them – line up in the Scotland team to play France second row.

Ewan Ashman gets the nod to start at hooker, alongside Pierre Schoeman (loosehead prop) and Zander Fagerson (tighthead) in the front row.

Rory Darge, who led Scotland to that Italy win, is one of five forwards named as replacements, with Dave Cherry, Jamie Bhatti, WP Nel and Scott Cummings listed as forward options, with backs George Horne, Cameron Redpath and Ollie Smith completing the matchday 23.

Scotland team to play France:

15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 44 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 34 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 36 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) – Vice-captain – 16 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 28 caps

10. Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) – Captain – 69 caps
9.   Ben White (Toulon) 14 caps

1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps
2. Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) 7 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 58 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 73 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice-captain – 62 caps
6. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 34 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 57 caps
8. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps


16. Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 54 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 26 caps
20. Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 20 caps
22. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 6 caps
23. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps

“Tough start” – England boss Steve Borthwick handed favourable 2023 Rugby World Cup draw

The next tournament will be held in France and the hosts will face New Zealand in a blockbuster opening match in Saint-Denis.

Chile, Portugal and Tonga are the latest teams to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The finals work the same way as the 2019 tournament with the first two teams in each pool progressing to the quarter-finals, which will be contested by knock-out matches.

If we suppose the top-ranked teams each win their pools and the second-ranked teams finish runners-up then the quarter-finals in 2023 could look something like this…

  • Wales vs Argentina
  • South Africa vs France
  • England vs Australia
  • New Zealand vs Ireland

The 2023 tournament will take place between 8 September and 21 October 2023.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The draw is a key milestone on the journey to Rugby World Cup France 2023, and the time when the tournament truly comes to life for teams and players alike.

“It enables key operational elements to be undertaken such as venue allocation, optimal match schedule development and the ticketing programme.”

Future draws will be done later:



  1. New Zealand
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Uruguay
  5. Namibia


  • Sep 8: France vs New Zealand (Pool A) – Stade de France, Saint-Denis
  • Sep 9: Italy vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Sep 14: France vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
  • Sep 15: New Zealand vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
  • Sep 20: Italy vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade de Nice, Nice
  • Sep 21: France vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Velodrome, Marseille
  • Sep 27: Uruguay vs Namibia (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Sep 29: New Zealand vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 5: New Zealand vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 6: France vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
France team to play Wales
Antoine Dupont of France calls for the mark during the Six Nations Championship match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 13 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK