Scotland bring back Kelly Brown to face France

Skipper recalled to the starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations match at Murrayfield

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson

Scotland skipper Kelly Brown has been recalled to the side that will take on France in Saturday's final home match of this year's Six Nations.

The Saracens flanker was dropped for the dramatic 21-20 victory over Italy in Rome after his part in the 20-0 humiliation against England last month.

But he has won a reprieve for this weekend's Les Bleus clash at the expense of Chris Fusaro and joins Geoff Cross and David Denton — who replace Moray Low and Ryan Wilson — in a reshuffled pack.

Like Fusaro, tighthead Low drops out of the matchday 23 altogether after his scrum struggles against the Azzurri, while Wilson is only fit enough for the bench after being laid low with a tonsillitis bug over the past few days.


The back division is unchanged from that last-ditch victory in the Eternal City - sealed with Duncan Weir’s dramatic drop-goal 10 seconds from time — while on the bench 58-times capped prop Euan Murray returns to the squad after missing the first three games of the Championship due to injury.

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson said: “I think Saturday is a game that will really suit Kelly. Unlike other sides in the competition, France play above the ground a bit and there will be a lot of mauling.

“I think the pitch suits Kelly too and I’ve picked a side that can win the game and that’s most important.

“The other back-row change is slightly enforced as Ryan Wilson has not been well at the start of this week with a tonsillitis bug and it was important we were not hampered in our training so Dents (David Denton) comes straight in.

“Geoff did really well when he came on against Italy and it’s right that he should start this week.”

Johnson reiterated his previous observation that he wants to increase the overall leadership group within the squad, saying: “Great sides around the world have a multitude of leaders in their team.”

He also asserted little should be read into injury absentees from the likely French team.

“Whatever side France put out will be a good one,” he said. “They have proven over the years that they are a great rugby nation so whatever side comes to Edinburgh we know we’ll have to be at our best.”

Scotland: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); T Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), A Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), M Scott (Edinburgh), S Lamont (Glasgow Warriors); D Weir (Glasgow Warriors), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh); R Grant (Glasgow Warriors), S Lawson (Newcastle Falcons) , G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Castres), J Hamilton (Montpellier), J Beattie (Montpellier), K Brown (Saracens, capt), D Denton (Edinburgh). Replacements: R Ford (Edinburgh), A Dickinson (Edinburgh), E Murray (Worcester Warriors), T Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), R Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), C Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), D Taylor (Saracens), M Evans (Castres).