Smart Scots change two

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 14:43
Large euan murray2 630 Large david denton 630 Large euan murray 630

Scotland have made two changes to their starting XV and a further four alterations to their bench for Saturday's Test against South Africa.

Scotland have made two changes to their starting XV and a further four alterations to their bench for Saturday's Test against South Africa at Murrayfield.

Euan Murray, the 32-year-old tighthead prop who was man of the match when the nations clashed at Murrayfield in 2008, is restored at No.3 - having missed the New Zealand game last week due to his religious observance, with Geoff Cross moving to the bench.

Elsewhere in the pack, Edinburgh's David Denton, who replaced the injured Ross Rennie against New Zealand, retains his berth in the back row with captain Kelly Brown confirmed at openside.

The uncapped Peter Murchie has been selected for a Scotland matchday 23 for the first time

On the bench, Dougie Hall, whose most recent cap was in the World Cup pool match against Argentina in Wellington last year, is preferred to Scott Lawson, and Cross takes the place of his Edinburgh colleague Allan Jacobsen, who is unavailable for personal reasons.

The experienced John Barclay returns to the matchday squad and there's a first involvement in a Scotland 23 for Barclay's Glasgow Warriors' teammate, the uncapped 26-year-old Peter Murchie who is nominated instead of Max Evans.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said they will have to outsmart the physical Springboks.

"We know we're in for a bruising battle against South Africa this weekend and we will be primed for that physical confrontation," Robinson said.

"But we also have to be smart in how we approach this game and do our utmost to ensure we get on the front foot and get the result that will move us into the top eight in the IRB world rankings ahead of next month's 2015 Rugby World Cup draw.

"I was pleased with Euan's contribution both at scrummage and in open play during the mid-year tour, while David Denton's aggressive carrying is something that really gets the crowd going.

"Dougie Hall has had a good season for Glasgow and I know that John Barclay has been one of our most consistent and reliable back-row forwards since he made his debut five years ago.

"Peter Murchie is another who has had a fine start to the season with Glasgow and his desire to dominate in aerial combat has been a factor in selection.”

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Denton, 7 Kelly Brown (captain), 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 John Barclay, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Peter Murchie.

Date: Saturday, November 17
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT, 16.30 SA time)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Christophe Berdos (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)