Six Nations

Scotland change 5 for England

2015-03-12 16:08
Vern Cotter (AFP)

London - Scotland head coach Vern Cotter on Thursday announced five changes to his team for their penultimate Six Nations match against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

David Denton, Dougie Fife, Matt Scott, Jim Hamilton and Finn Russell all return for Scotland, who are desperate for victory in the Calcutta Cup following successive losses to France, Wales and Italy.

The quintet replace Johnnie Beattie, knee injury victims Sean Lamont and Alex Dunbar -- who has been ruled out for up to nine months -- Tim Swinson and Peter Horne.

"Jim comes in and will bring his physicality and understanding of English rugby to our forward pack," Cotter said in a statement released by Scottish Rugby.

"It's good to have Dave Denton back as he provides us with strong ball-carrying and strong defence. He's also a very good line-out forward and will give us a bit more physical density against a big forward pack.

"It's been tough on Finn to sit out (due to suspension) and it's great to have him back. He's slotted straight back in to the structure we're looking for.

"Finally, Dougie came on and played well against France and has had a couple of games with his club with a few work-ons.

"We're looking for him to bring his enthusiasm, energy and high work-rate, particularly in kick-chase and receipt."

Edinburgh number eight Denton is the only player not to have played in the Six Nations so far and replaces Beattie after recovering from a calf strain.

His Edinburgh club-mates Fife and Scott will both be making their first starts of the tournament.

Scott was brought into the team after Dunbar succumbed to a knee injury in training on Thursday morning, with a hospital scan revealing he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and will be out for up to nine months.

"The Scotland medical team today (Thursday) confirmed that Glasgow Warriors centre Alex Dunbar is out for the rest of the season through injury," the Scottish Rugby Union said in a statement.

"A scan at Spire Murrayfield Hospital later in the morning revealed he has ruptured his ACL -- anterior cruciate ligament -- requiring surgery and around six to nine months rest and rehabilitation."

Russell takes over from Peter Horne following a two-week suspension, while Hamilton replaces Swinson.

Meanwhile, tighthead prop Euan Marshall is due to equal Allan Jacobsen's appearance record for a Scotland prop by collecting his 65th cap.

"This is a very important game," Cotter added. "It will be played away from home at a very intense level and will allow us to assess further our ability to operate away from home in a hostile environment.

"Our focus, however, has been on ourselves and how we can perform better, by identifying the areas that we can control -- like improving our skill-sets and reinforcing our cohesion -- to withstand the difficult times and also apply some pressure."

Teams:

England:

15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Tom Youngs,17  Mako Vunipola, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Billy Twelvetrees

Scotland:

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson

Substitutes:  16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Johnnie Beattie, 21 Adam Ashe; 22 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 23 Greig Tonks


Read more on:    scotland  |  six nations  |  vern cotter  |  rugby
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