Edinburgh Rugby flanker Hamish Watson returns to the Scotland team for their Six Nations clash with France in Paris on Sunday as he looks set to feature in the Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage.
The British & Irish Lion suffered a head knock last November and missed the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage as Edinburgh set up a Round of 16 trip to Leicester Tigers on March 31.
But Watson, who has scored six tries in 35 EPCR appearances, is back on the international stage and will be hoping to earn a starting berth at Mattioli Woods Welford Road next month.
The 31-year-old comes in as the only alteration made by head coach Gregor Townsend, meaning several Edinburgh representatives continue in the XV, in flanker and captain Jamie Ritchie, prop Pierre Schoeman, lock Grant Gilchrist and wing Duhan van der Merwe.
Will Scotland go 3️⃣ from 3️⃣?@EdinburghRugby's Hamish Watson slots into the starting XV and Sam Skinner is primed for an international return from the bench 🔥#SCOvFRA #HeinekenChampionsCup https://t.co/HTQ21sGocp
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 24, 2023
Full-back Stuart Hogg is another Heineken Champions Cup star – he is poised to be involved in Exeter Chiefs’ Round of 16 encounter with Montpellier Hérault Rugby at Sandy Park on April 2.
Edinburgh’s Sam Skinner is among the replacements and in line for his first appearance of this year’s Six Nations – he is joined by clubmates WP Nel and Blair Kinghorn among the replacements, as well as Exeter’s Jonny Gray.
There is also just one change among the France ranks as Montpellier’s Mohamed Haouas replaces La Rochelle’s Uini Atonio at prop amid the latter’s suspension.
That means three EPCR Player of the Year nominees keep their places in the side – hooker Julien Marchand, scrum-half Antoine Dupont and No.8 Grégory Alldritt.
Marchand and Dupont go up against Vodacom Bulls with Stade Toulousain in the Heineken Champions Cup on April 2, while Alldritt is looking to continue La Rochelle’s title defence as they host Gloucester Rugby the day prior.