Barclay and Bennett named in Scotland side


John Barclay has been recalled to the Scotland side to face England in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday and Mark Bennett also starts after recovering from injury.

Barclay was omitted from Scotland's Rugby World Cup squad, but gets the nod over Blair Cowan at blindside flanker in a back row also including John Hardie and Dave Denton for the eagerly-awaited Calcutta Cup clash.

Bennett has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury in Glasgow Warriors' European Champions Cup defeat to Racing 92 last month, but the centre has proved his fitness to Vern Cotter.

Matt Scott replaces the injured Peter Horne to partner Bennett, who impressed during the World Cup, while Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour start on the wings.

Cotter said: "There's a huge amount of excitement and determination among the group to start well, and do well, in this championship, and show that they have learned from past experiences and developed their game.

"Playing in front of a sold-out BT Murrayfield Stadium is hugely motivating for the players, who are all very proud to wear the jersey as we know. They like working hard for each other in the no-excuse environment that exists in the squad.

"England will look to build their game from set-phase dominance, while we expect them to have developed their attacking play into the wider channels, which can create challenges as well as opportunities.

"We're expecting them to be extremely motivated and physical, and we're looking forward to that challenge. Continuity and accuracy will be key for us in this game."


Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, John Hardie, David Denton.

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Blair Cowan, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Duncan Weir, Duncan Taylor.