John Barclay to captain Scotland

Vern Cotter has named John Barclay as captain and has made five changes to the Scotland team to face Wales in the Six Nations clash at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Barclay was named in the absence of the injured Greig Laidlaw and partners John Hardie and Ryan Wilson in the back-row.

“John has played a vital role in our leadership group and has led by example throughout this and previous campaigns.” said Cotter. “It was disappointing to lose Greig (Laidlaw) however we continue to develop a system of shared leadership in this squad, which has supported this transition.

“It’ll be a proud moment for John and one which he thoroughly deserves.”

Ali Price comes in for the injured Laidlaw, with Harlequins winger Tim Visser replacing the injured Sean Maitland on the wing. Huw Jones and Alex Dunbar continue their midfield partnership and Gordon Reid makes his first Championship start in the front row.

“We’ve now had two weeks to recover, reflect and prepare a new game plan for Wales,” added Cotter. “We know the Welsh will throw everything at us but we will keep our attacking mind-set and look to convert pressure to points as often as possible.

“The players have worked hard to prepare for this game and are really looking forward to putting in a top performance. It’s a huge weekend in the championship and we’re still right in the mix.”

Scotland: Hogg, Visser, Dunbar, Jones, Seymour, Russell, Price; Reid, Brown, Fagerson, R Gray, J Gray, Barclay, Hardie, Wilson.

Replacements: Ford, Dell, Berghan, Swinson, Watson, Pyrgos, Weir, Bennett.