Harris starts for Scotland against Wales
|2018 Six Nations: Wales v Scotland|
|Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: 3 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Listen on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website and app. Live text coverage on BBC Sport website and app.|
Newcastle Falcons’ Chris Harris makes his first start for Scotland after being named at outside centre to face Wales in their Six Nations opener.
Cornell Du Preez starts at number eight, with Ali Price named ahead of fit-again Greig Laidlaw at scrum-half.
Coach Gregor Townsend has made six changes from the side that faced Australia in November.
Stuart Hogg starts at full-back, while Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh, Ben Toolis and Du Preez come into the starting pack.
Prop Welsh last featured for Scotland in 2015, while Newcastle team-mate Harris made his debut as replacement for the final 21 minutes of November’s 44-38 win over Samoa.
Glasgow Warriors’ Huw Jones makes his first appearance for Scotland at inside-centre, where he made nine out of 10 starts for Western Province in last year’s Currie Cup-winning season, to make way for Harris.
Townsend said he has chosen a team designed to provide “the intensity and speed required to win in Cardiff”.
“Last year’s championship highlighted that every game is a fierce competition and that all teams have to play at their very best to win away from home,” he said.
“Delivering that level of performance has been firmly in our thoughts during our preparations this week.
“We’re expecting a really physical game against a very good team.
“Wales have one of the best defences in the game and an attack that sees forwards passing much more and a structure that enables backs to get on the ball.”
Glasgow’s Price starts for the ninth time in 10 Scotland games, while Clermont Auvergne’s Laidlaw returns to the match-day squad for the first time since last year’s tournament.
Replacement hooker Scott Lawson has not played for Scotland since 2014, while 21-year-old Edinburgh prop Murray McCallum could make his debut from the bench.
Scotland starting XV
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Gordon Reid (London Irish), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray, John Barclay (Scarlets, captain), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Cornell du Preez (Edinburgh).
Replacements: Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Murray McCallum (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens).