Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has announced his team for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland at Murrayfield (kick-off 2.15pm).
The selected Scotland team shows five changes of personnel and one positional switch to the side that ended the 2011 RBS 6 Nations with a 21-8 home win over Italy at Murrayfield.
Experienced centre Graeme Morrison returns in midfield having missed the Championship with a knee injury. His inclusion sees Sean Lamont revert to the left wing at the expense of Ulster’s Simon Danielli.
In the pack, there is a first start at openside flanker for the 25-year-old Ross Rennie, whose six caps thus far have been off the bench and whom Andy Robinson has admired and nurtured since his spell as Edinburgh’s head coach.
Johnnie Beattie is given a chance to put his shoulder woes behind him at number 8, Alasdair Strokosch comes in at blindside flanker and Jim Hamilton will start at lock.
The newly introduced quartet replace John Barclay, Kelly Brown, Nathan Hines and Alastair Kellock respectively.
The Scots will be captain by scrum half Rory Lawson, who led them to victories over reigning World champions South Africa and Samoa at Murrayfield and Pittodrie respectively last November.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Celtic derby, Robinson declared: “In any international match there is always a huge amount at stake, but the EMC Tests take on extra significance this year as we hone our preparations for the start of the world’s third biggest sporting event.
“I am a firm believer that competition brings the best out in players and I’ve said to the squad that it lies in their hands to make the case for their inclusion in the final 30 for New Zealand.”
On the bench Robinson has listed two uncapped players – the 21-year-old Edinburgh back rower David Denton, who has already play for the Scottish Sevens and ‘A’ teams, and Bath full-back Jack Cuthbert. The 23-year-old has also won promotion from the Scotland ‘A’ squad.
The Ireland team to face Scotland will be confirmed by head coach Declan Kidney on Thursday afternoon.
Tickets for the game are available to purchase online here or from the 24 hour credit card hotline, tel: 0044 (0)844 335 3933.
They cost from £5 for children and students and from £10 for adults. You will also be able to buy tickets on the day.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on BBC Two Northern Ireland and we will be running our regular O2 MatchDay Live service here on IrishRugby.ie.
SCOTLAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2011 Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Test, Murrayfield, Saturday, August 6, kick-off 2.15pm):
15 – Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)
14 – Nikki Walker (Ospreys)
13 – Joe Ansbro (London Irish)
12 – Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors)
11 – Sean Lamont (Scarlets)
10 – Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors)
9 – Rory Lawson (Gloucester) (capt)
1 – Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh)
2 – Ross Ford (Edinburgh)
3 – Geoff Cross (Edinburgh)
4 – Jim Hamilton (Gloucester)
5 – Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
6 – Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester)
7 – Ross Rennie (Edinburgh)
8 – Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow Warriors)
16 – Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors)
17 – Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks)
18 – Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors)
19 – David Denton (Edinburgh)
20 – Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh)
21 – Nick De Luca (Edinburgh)
22 – Jack Cuthbert (Bath)