Kinghorn out but Rowe starts as Townsend names Scotland side

Scotland has suffered an injury blow ahead of the Six Nations opener.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his Scotland side to face Wales in their Six Nations opening game – with Blair Kinghorn missing from the side through injury.

The Toulouse number 15 has a knee injury that will see him sit out the games against Wales and France, with Kyle Rowe replacing him at full-back this weekend.

Kinghorn is the second member of Townsend’s first-choice back three to miss the match, with Edinburgh’s Darcy Graham ruled out with a quad issue.

Scotland co-captain Rory Darge has also been ruled out of the opener, with his recovery progressing well but the back row not ready for a return until next week.

Rowe will now earn his first cap since facing Argentina away in July 2022. The Glasgow Warriors player damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in that match and missed a year of rugby.

Finn Russell will skipper the side as Scotland look to win in Cardiff for the first time in 22 years.

Jamie Ritchie, who lost the captain’s role last month is one of the vice-captains. Ritchie starts in the back-row alongside Matt Fagerson and Luke Crosbie. Jack Dempsey is on the bench.

Ben White is restored to the number-nine jersey after Ali Price was given the nod in that position in the starting XV for the last two matches of the World Cup against Romania and Ireland.

Glasgow lock Scott Cummings starts in place of his suspended Edinburgh counterpart Grant Gilchrist.

Props Elliot Millar-Mills and Alec Hepburn – who was capped six times by England in 2018 – are both in line to make their Scotland debuts off the bench.

However, there is no place in the 23 for in-form Saracens back-rower Andy Christie who had been touted as a potential starter.

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