Scotland shuffle their pack
Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:03
Kelly Brown starts instead of Chris Fusaro
Scotland have made three changes to their pack, among which Kelly Brown is recalled as captain, for Saturday's Six Nations match against France at Murrayfield.
The other alterations see Geoff Cross rewarded for a sterling contribution off the bench in the 21-20 win against Italy, with the starting berth at tighthead prop and David Denton enlisted for the loose trio in place of Ryan Wilson who has been laid low by a tonsillitis bug over the last few days. Brown starts instead of Chris Fusaro.
The back division is unchanged from that which started the game in Rome, while on the bench, Euan Murray, the 58-times capped prop, returns to the squad after missing the first three games of the tournament due to injury.
Scotland head coach Scott Johnson said: "I think Saturday is a game that will really suit Kelly. Unlike other sides in the competition, France play above the ground a bit and there will be a lot of mauling."
"I think the pitch suits Kelly too and I've picked a side that can win the game and that's most important."
"The other loose trio change is slightly enforced as Ryan Wilson has not been well at the start of this week with a tonsillitis bug and it was important we were not hampered in our training so Dents (David Denton) comes straight in."
"Geoff did really well when he came on against Italy and it's right that he should start this week," he added.
Johnson reiterated his previous observation that he wants to increase the overall leadership group within the squad.
"Great sides around the world have a multitude of leaders in their team," he noted.
He also asserted little should be read into injury absentees from the likely French team.
"Whatever side France put out will be a good one. They have proven over the years that they are a great rugby nation so whatever side comes to Edinburgh we know we'll have to be at our best," he said.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 Kelly Brown (captain), 6 Johnnie Beattie, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Max Evans.
Date: Saturday, March 8
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 17.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland) and JP Doyle (England)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales).
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