Ben Healy misses out on Scotland 23 for Six Nations opener with England

Finn Russell keeps his place at outhalf with Blair Kinghorn covering on the bench

Ben Healy has missed out on Scotland’s 23 for their Six Nations opener with England, as Finn Russell starts at outhalf with Blair Kinghorn providing cover on the bench.

There is no surprise that Russell is selected at stand-off after forcing his way back to the head of the queue for the number 10 shirt with a couple of impressive displays against New Zealand and Argentina in November following his omission from the initial squad for the Autumn Tests.

Elsewhere, Scotland have decided against throwing Zander Fagerson straight back into action on Saturday.

Forwards coach John Dalziel said on Tuesday the Glasgow prop was in contention for the Calcutta Cup showdown despite being sidelined since the start of December with a hamstring injury.


However, management have opted to give the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad member more time to get up to speed as he has not been included in the side for this weekend’s match at Twickenham.

WP Nel, the 36-year-old Edinburgh prop, takes over from Fagerson in the number three jersey.

Other notable selections include London Irish scrumhalf Ben White getting the nod over regular number nine Ali Price, who is not even on the bench.

Chris Harris – who starts on the bench – is another surprise omission from the XV, with Huw Jones taking over from the Gloucester centre.

Kyle Steyn has beaten off competition from Sean Maitland to take the place of the injured Darcy Graham on the wing.

Edinburgh flanker Luke Crosbie is the least experienced player in the 23 with two caps. He starts at number seven.

Key duo Stuart Hogg and Duhan van der Merwe are both in the XV despite recent fitness concerns.

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, WP Nel; Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist; Jamie Ritchie (captain), Luke Crosbie, Matt Fagerson.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Jonny Gray, Jack Dempsey, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn, Chris Harris.