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Scotland Call On Weir, Swinson And Wilson

Scotland Call On Weir, Swinson And Wilson

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made three changes to the team to face Ireland in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations finale in Dublin (kick-off 5pm).

Glasgow Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir has been handed his first start of the Championship in place of club-mate Finn Russell, who has been ruled out of the fixture with concussion, despite his continued progression through the graduated return-to-play protocols.

Weir comes in at half-back to partner scrum half and captain Greig Laidlaw, who will surpass the record held by former international David Sole (25) as the most appearances as Scotland skipper.

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The remaining changes appear in the pack, with lock Tim Swinson, who has made four replacement appearances in this year’s tournament, set for his first start alongside Richie Gray, in place of the injured Jonny Gray (pectoral tear).

Ryan Wilson starts at number 8 in place of Josh Strauss, who moves to the bench, reverting to the back row combination that started Scotland’s win over Italy in Rome, alongside flankers John Hardie and John Barclay, the latter set to make a half-century of appearances for his country.

Vern Cotter said: “We were pleased with our sustained effort against France. I was happy with the way we adapted to losing Finn (Russell) so early in the game. The team came together and was rewarded for their endeavour with the end result.

“The challenge for us now is to keep constructing our game and enjoy the last coming together of the championship in a Scotland jersey, against an Ireland team full of confidence after a convincing win over Italy.”
The pack is completed by the ever-present front row trio of Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and Willem Nel, who start their fifth consecutive match of the Championship.

In the backs, centres Alex Dunbar and Duncan Taylor continue in midfield while the back-three of Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser and Stuart Hogg feature for a third time in a row.

Cotter has made two further alterations to the replacements, with Rob Harley taking the place vacated by the promoted Swinson, while Henry Pyrgos has been named as the reserve scrum half for what could be his first Scotland appearance since his post-Rugby World Cup wrist surgery.

SCOTLAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, March 19, kick-off 5pm):

Player/Club/Caps –

15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 42
14. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) 26
13. Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 16
12. Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) 15
11. Tim Visser (Harlequins) 25
10. Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 22
9. Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester) (capt) 50
1. Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh) 56
2. Ross Ford (Edinburgh) 98
3. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) 12
4. Richie Gray (Castres Olympique) 55 
5. Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 21
6. John Barclay (Scarlets) 49
7. John Hardie (Edinburgh) 9
8. Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) 17


16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) 6
17. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) *
18. Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) 31
19. Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) 17
20. Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) 7
21. Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 17
22. Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 17
23. Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 103

* Denotes uncapped player at international level