Scotland’s game against Fiji at Murrayfield on Nov. 28 has been cancelled due to a large number of positive coronavirus tests in the Fiji camp, organisers announced on Friday.
The news came on the same day Scotland coach Gregor Townsend announced his team to face France on Sunday and is Fiji’s third Autumn Nations Cup game to be cancelled.
“The extent of infection in the Fiji camp, combined with a minimum 10-day isolation period, plus the obvious need for suitable preparation for any international test meant that… the decision was unavoidable,” organisers said in a statement.
The focus in the Scotland camp, however, was on Sunday’s game against France who Scotland beat in the Six Nations in March.
There are five changes to this starting side with four of the changes coming in the pack where Townsend has opted for a new front row with South African-born Oli Kebble getting a first start as he links up with hooker Fraser Brown and Simon Berghan. Matt Fagerson returns to the back of the pack after an ankle injury.
In the backs, Blair Kinghorn takes the place of Darcy Graham on the wing.
Scotland beat Italy away last week to make a positive start to their campaign and extend their winning streak to five consecutive test victories, a sequence which began against France in March.
There have only been two times that Scotland have won six tests in a row since 1900 — in 1925-26 and 1989-90.
“The Autumn Nations Cup is all about opportunity — the opportunity to play in a new competition and the opportunity for us as coaches to see how a large number of our squad perform when given the chance to play,” Townsend said at a news conference on Friday.
“France are full of confidence and have played really well this year. We know we’re playing one of the best teams in the world right now, so to rise to this challenge we’re going to have to play close to our best throughout the contest on Sunday.”
Scotland team to face France
Stuart Hogg (captain), Blair Kinghorn, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Duhan van der Merwe, Duncan Weir, Ali Price, Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown, Simon Berghan, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson
George Turner,. Jamie Bhatti, Zander Fagerson, Sam Skinner, Blade Thomson, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Duncan Taylor, Sean Maitland.