Scotland and Wales announce teams for the weekend

Scotland and Wales have announced their teams for their fixtures this weekend against New Zealand and Argentina. Both have sprung a few surprises with David Denton, John Barclay and Mike Phillips all missing out.

Scotland have named injury doubts Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton in the second row, though Gray will have to undertake a fitness test prior to the game.

Meanwhile in the back row Andy Robinson has selected Kelly Brown, Alasdair Strokosch and Ross Rennie, leaving David Denton on the bench, and one time favourite, John Barclay, out of the 23 altogether.

The backs look an altogether more settled unit with Matt Scott being brought in for the injured Graeme Morrison, while Tim Visser is selected ahead on Max Evans on the wing.

Robinson spoke of a need to be aggressive and to match the All Blacks physically in the early stages particularly if they are to register a first victory over the Kiwi’s:

“For our first game of the season we will really need to start well and keep the game simple, New Zealand are the world champions and they perform the basic skills, well, under the highest pressure.”

“We need to step up from the 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.”

Wales meanwhile, with Rob Howley in temporary charge, have made changes in their interim coach’s specialist position, with the 22-year-old Tavis Knoyle replacing the almost ever present Mike Phillips.

The forwards though are expected, with Aaron Jarvis replacing the injured Adam Jones at tighthead, while the inexperienced Josh Turnbull comes in on the blindside after both Lydiate and Jones were injured.

There had been rumour of Howley moving Warburton to the blindside to accommodate the rapidly improving Tipuric, but he has resisted the temptation to tinker.

Phillips aside, it is as you were in Australia for the backs, with just Jamie Roberts coming in for the injured Jonathan Davies.


S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); S Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), N De Luca (Edinburgh), M Scott (Edinburgh), T Visser (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), M Blair (Brive)

R Grant (Glasgow Warriors), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Sale Sharks), J Hamilton (Gloucester), A Strokosch (Perpignan), R Rennie (Edinburgh), K Brown (capt, Saracens).

Replacements :

S Lawson (London Irish), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), K Traynor (Bristol), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), D Denton (Edinburgh), H Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), M Evans (Castres).


Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), George North (Scarlets); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets)

Gethin Jenkins (Toulon), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).


Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Robin McCusker (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), James Hook (Perpignan), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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