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Three new caps for Scotland

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 11:46
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I have said regularly that we are not going to give Test jerseys away
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Scotland have named three new caps in their starting line-up for their June Test series clash with Samoa in Durban on Saturday.

Edinburgh fullback Greig Tonks and Glasgow Warriors pair, centre Alex Dunbar and hooker Pat MacArthur, are the debutants.

The team shows five personnel changes and one positional alteration from that beaten 23-16 by France in March in a final-round Six Nations match.

Flyhalf Tom Heathcote and lock Alastair Kellock are the other inclusions while Sean Lamont moves from outside centre to the right wing.

Fullback Stuart Hogg and right wing Sean Maitland are among those missing from the Paris team as they are touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions.

Lock Richie Gray, ruled out of the France Test because of an injury, is the third Scot in the touring party preparing for a three-Test series against the Wallabies.

Flyhalf Duncan Weir and hooker Ross Ford were not included in the 31-strong touring party and lock Jim Hamilton drops to the bench for the Samoa Test.

Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh supply five each of the starting line-up with the others coming from English sides Bath, Saracens and Worcester and French clubs Montpellier and Perpignan.

Australia-born interim head coach Scott Johnson said: "We want to broaden the base and this team gives us the perfect opportunity to see how these guys stand up in Test football.

"We have 25 Tests available to us before the World Cup and I have said regularly that we are not going to give Test jerseys away.

"But we cannot be exposed to injury issues and the best way to prevent that is to give players opportunities," he said.

Scotland have won seven of eight internationals against the Pacific islanders since they first met 22 years ago with the other ending in a 15-15 draw.

Former world champions South Africa host Italy in the other Durban Test and there will be further double-headers on June 15 in Nelspruit and June 22 in Pretoria.

South Africa, Scotland and Samoa are in the same group for the 2015 World Cup in England and Wales.

Scotland:15 Greig Tonks, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown (captain), 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23Duncan Taylor.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT; 01.00, Sunday, June 9 Samoa time)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Sindile Mayende (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)

AFP

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