John Leslie
Scotland's captain John Leslie with coach Ian McGeechan

Credit: Allsport

Leslie returns for Scots
by Andy McKenzie

John Leslie has been passed fit to help boost Scotland’s stumbling Six Nations campaign when they take on France at Murrayfield on March 4.

  • The Scotland skipper has managed just 12 minutes of action as Ian McGeechan’s side have suffered shock defeats to Italy and Ireland.

  • Leslie made his comeback from a hip injury – causing him to miss most of the Italian defeat in Rome and the heavy loss in Dublin – in Newcastle’s win over Bedford on February 27.

  • The 29-year-old centre came through the game unscathed and is likely to return against the French, with the side expected to be named on March 1.

  • The French have major injury problems going into the game, as they hope to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to England.

  • Flanker Olivier Magne is unlikely to be fit for Murrayfield and Richard Dourthe has been replaced by Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, usually a scrum-half who could be forced into playing fly-half as the French casualty list continues to grow.

  • Ireland have injury worries of their own for their home clash with Italy at Lansdowne Road. Jeremy Davidson and Kevin Maggs have been ruled out of the game, as Ireland hope to build on their win over Scotland on February 19.

  • Paddy Johns has been moved up from the A squad to replace Davidson, who has been unable to recover from a knee injury in time to make the game. Irish coach Warren Gatland has opted not to call up a replacement for Maggs.

  • Italy have made major changes as they hope to get back to winning ways in Dublin, following their heavy defeat to Wales.

  • Coach Brad Johnstone has handed call-ups to 18-year-old Andrea Masi and Giacomo Preo at centre, 35-year-old lock Walter Cristofoletto, Carlo Caione, Giampeiro Mazzi and the uncapped Salvatore Perugini.

  • Massimo Giovanelli and Manuel Dallan miss out through injury.

  • At Twickenham, Wales will line up against Six Nations front-runners England with just one change from the side that beat Italy at the Millennium Stadium.

  • Colin Charvis has been recalled at flanker in place of Geraint Lewis, who is dropped to the bench as the Welsh look to upset the form book.

  • England coach Clive Woodward is expected to announce an unchanged side from the one that beat France at the Stade de France, Paris on February 19.
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© 2000 Worldsport Networks Ltd Written by Andy McKenzie

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