World Cup warm-up: Scotland v France
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 24 August Kick-off: 13:10 BST

makes his Scotland debut and fly-half Finn Russell returns for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up Test against France.

Full-back is the sole starter retained from last weekend’s 32-3 hammering in Nice.

Scrum-half Greig Laidlaw captains the side, while New Zealand-born Thomson is joined by Hamish Watson and Ryan Wilson in the back-row.

Peter Horne and Chris Harris form the centre partnership at Murrayfield.

Scott Cummings, making just his second international appearance, and Sam Skinner combine in the second row, while hooker George Turner wins his seventh cap with props Gordon Reid and Willem Nel either side.

Hogg is joined by wings Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour, while Russell and Laidlaw start together for the 32nd time.

Scarlets’ Thomson, 28, who missed the autumn Tests and Six Nations with concussion, is eligible through his paternal grandfather.

Centre Sam Johnson, back-row Magnus Bradbury and hooker Fraser Brown are currently sidelined by injuries.

Head coach Gregor Townsend is demanding a “much-improved performance” after shipping five tries in the south of France.

“France are a very dangerous side if you give them space and quick ball to play, which is what we allowed to happen on too many occasions last week,” he said. “Our focus all week has been to remedy this and also create much more from our attacking game.

“It was a stark reminder of how tough things can be at international level if our standards slip.”

France have made four changes, with captain Guilhem Guirado back at hooker, Felix Lambey replacing suspended lock Paul Gabrillagues, Arthur Iturria at six and Thomas Ramos at full-back.

Scotland: Hogg, Seymour, Harris, P Horne, Maitland, Russell, Laidlaw (capt); Reid, Turner, Nel, Cummings, Skinner, Wilson, Watson, Thomson.

Replacements: Stewart, Dell, Berghan, Gilchrist, Barclay, G Horne, Hutchinson, Kinghorn.

‘Scotland just have to get better defensively’ – analysis

Former Scotland international Iain Morrison talking to BBC Radio Scotland

There is no question that the world knows if you keep the ball tight and batter Scotland repeatedly, eventually they will crack.

Opposition will know Scotland’s weaknesses, they will drive the ball, they will have one-out runners. They will test Scotland’s defence relentlessly and we just have to be better.

This is not a must-win match but it’s one Gregor Townsend would very much like to win and I think Scotland will be very much better than they were a week ago.


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