Scotland suffered a major setback on the eve of the Six Nations match at home to France on Saturday when star flank Hamish Watson was ruled out based on a positive test for coronavirus.
A Scottish Rugby Union statement confirmed the news on Friday, depriving the Bravehearts of the 47-cap breakaway for a crunch clash with the unbeaten championship leaders.
Edinburgh back rower Nick Haining moves into the starting XV and will play on the blindside, with Rory Darge shifting to opensider.
Saracens’ Andy Christie has been drafted into the match-day 23 and will make his Scotland debut if he comes off the replacements bench at Murrayfield.
France have arrived in Edinburgh as the only team left in this season’s Six Nations capable of winning a Grand Slam.
But Scotland, beaten 20-17 by Wales last time out, are bidding for a third successive Six Nations win over Les Bleus, a feat they have not achieved for 64 years.
© Agence France-Presse