Six Nations

Fraser Brown gets Scotland nod for Ireland clash

2017-02-02 15:38

London - Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown has been chosen ahead of Ross Ford in Scotland's starting side for their Six Nations opener against Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Ford, a veteran of 102 Tests, was on the bench in the matchday 23 announced by coach Vern Cotter on Thursday.

Cotter, in his final Six Nations as Scotland boss, made three changes from the side that beat Georgia in November.

In the pack Josh Strauss replaced Glasgow colleague Rob Harley at No 8, while centre Huw Jones came in for Mark Bennett.

Scotland will hopes Jones's return from a foot injury sees him carry on from where he left in scoring two tries against Australia on his first Test start last year.

He will link up in midfield with Alex Dunbar while Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell provide the half-backs in a back division featuring fullback Stuart Hogg.

In the pack, brothers Jonny and Richie Gray are Scotland's locks.

"Although it's a reasonably settled squad, it's nice to have an uncapped player and some reasonably new players in the team, who bring their enthusiasm along with the others," said Cotter.

"We've been growing our depth and our versatility within that so we have a number of different options that allow us to continually attack the opposition, which is our main focus."

He added: "Facing Ireland first up doesn't get much harder.

"They are at the top of their game and will come here with confidence after beating some of the best teams in the world, including the All Blacks and Wallabies and having won the tournament twice in the past three years."

Teams

Scotland

15 Stuart Hogg; 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour; 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (capt); 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Ryan Wilson; 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray; 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Allan Dell

Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 John Barclay, 21 Ali Price 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadgh Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Jack McGrath

Substitutes: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Tommy Bowe

Read more on:    scotland  |  six nations  |  rugby
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