Scotlan drop captain for Calcutta Cup clash

Scotland have made three changes to their starting XV for their RBS 6 Nations clash against England on Saturday, and a further three on the bench.

Chris Fusaro wins his first international cap; the Glasgow Warriors flanker replaces Kelly Brown at openside, with Greig Laidlaw taking over the captaincy and Brown omitted from the 23 man squad entirely.

Fusaro was delighted to discover that he would win his first cap against England, saying:

“I’m absolutely delighted. Being the Calcutta Cup, there’s no better game to get your first cap. I’m still pinching myself a bit.”

Tommy Seymour comes in for his first 6 Nations experience, he replaces Sean Maitland, who has been ruled out of the rest of the Championship after picking up a knee injury against Ireland.

The final change to Scotland’s starting XV sees the now fully fit Matt Scott replace Duncan Taylor at inside centre, with Taylor dropping down to the bench in Scott’s place.

Nineteen year old second row, Jonny Gray, replaces his older and more well known brother Richie on the bench. A selection that shows just how highly the Scottish management rate Jonny as his brother was a British and Irish Lion last summer.

The final change sees Scott Lawson replace Pat MacArthur on the bench as back up hooker, with Ross Ford retaining his starting spot in the number two jersey despite a shaky performance against Ireland.

Speaking of his changes, Interim Head Coach Scott Johnson said:

“Fusaro is picked to do a certain role and we believe there’s an opportunity for him to do it. England are powerful, they have an edge to their side and are assertive and aggressive.  They will probably consider themselves unlucky last weekend but it’s not always brute force that wins these games.”

“I spoke to Tommy (Seymour) in the summer that he needed a point of difference. One of the things that comes to mind is his aerial skills. He possesses natural aerial skills from his time in Ireland. Every time he has gone up in class his skills have transcended.”

“We are all looking forward hugely to Saturday’s match. You want the rivalry that exists. It’s intense and great to be part of.”

The changes in the Scotland side are certainly in contrast to the England team, who earlier named an unchanged side for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup match.

What do you think of the Scotland team? Is it good enough to beat England? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or via the comment box below.

Scotland v England, Saturday 8th February, Kick Off 17.00

Scotland XV:

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)  14 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)  13 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) 
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 
11 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors)  10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)  9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby, captain);  1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 
3 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 
4 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 
5 Jim Hamilton (Montpellier) 
6 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) 
7 Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors) 
8 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby).

Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons) 
17 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) 
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 
19 Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 
20 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 
21 Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors) 
22 Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 
23 Max Evans (Castres).

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