Scotland name side to face NZ

2012-11-06 14:20
Andy Robinson (File)

Edinburgh - Scotland lock Richie Gray was included on Tuesday in the starting XV to face world champions New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday, subject to passing a fitness test on an ankle injury.

Scotland were the most successful of all the 'Home Nations' during their respective southern hemisphere tours earlier this year, upsetting the odds to beat Australia before defeating Fiji and then scraping a win over Samoa.

Head coach Andy Robinson has made five changes to the starting XV for the 17-16 victory over Samoa in Apia in June.

Jim Hamilton, who missed the tour because of disciplinary problems incurred while playing for Gloucester, returned to partner star lock Gray in the second row while fit-again back-row forward Kelly Brown was recalled for his 50th cap and first as Scotland captain.

In the backs, centre Nick de Luca and scrum-half Mike Blair replace the injured pair of Joe Ansbro and Chris Cusiter respectively while Geoff Cross came in for tighthead prop Euan Murray, unavailable because his religious beliefs prevent him playing on a Sunday.

A sell-out crowd of 67 144 is expected to see Scotland make their latest bid for a first victory over New Zealand and Robinson urged his side to follow the example of Australia, who ended the All Blacks' run of 16 straight Test wins with an 18-18 draw in Brisbane last month.

"For our first game of the season we will really need to start well and keep the game simple," said Robinson.

"New Zealand are the world champions and they perform the basic skills, well, under the highest pressure," former England flanker and coach Robinson added.

"We need to step up from the (European) summer tour and be ready to go toe to toe in a physical contest, just as Australia did most recently against New Zealand in Brisbane."

New Zealand are due to name their team on Friday.

Scotland have never beaten the All Blacks in 28 Tests spread across 107 years, with their best results coming in the contrasting Murrayfield draws of 1964 (0-0) and 1983 (25-25).



15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Kelly Brown (captain), 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant

Substitutes: Scott Lawson, Allan Jacobsen, Kyle Traynor, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson

23rd man: Max Evans

New Zealand:


Read more on:    scotland  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

SA Rugby's coaching indaba is set to take place this week. Do you think the two-day think-tank will make any difference?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.