Scotland make sweeping changes
September 11, 2011
Sean Lamont moves from centre to wing for Scotland's clash with Georgia © PA Photos
Scotland have made 11 changes for their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash against Georgia in Invercargill on Wednesday with Rory Lawson named captain.
Scotland came from behind to beat Romania 34-24 in their opening fixture at Rugby Park Stadium and the unconvincing performance coupled with the proximity of the matches meant changes were inevitable for the second match.
Only wing Max Evans, prop Allan Jacobsen, Sean Lamont and Kelly Brown are retained from the opening game. Sean Lamont is to move from centre to wing, with Brown switching to No.8 from blindside flanker.
Lawson takes the captaincy from Alastair Kellock, who is left out of the matchday 22, with Nathan Hines and Jim Hamilton forming the second row partnership. Hooker Scott Lawson and tighthead prop Euan Murray join Jacobsen in the front row, while alongside Brown in the back row are Ross Rennie and Alasdair Strokosch.
Dan Parks is to start at fly-half with a centre combination of Graeme Morrison and Nick De Luca and the Lamont brothers joined by Evans in the back three. On the replacements' bench, Scotland have opted for five forwards and two backs in anticipation of the forward challenge posed by Georgia, who are coached by former Scotland boss Richie Dixon.
Scotland will be seeking a fifth successive victory on Wednesday and head coach Andy Robinson stressed the changes were due to the time between matches, rather than the under-par opening showing on Saturday.
"The selection is based on the four-day turnaround from Saturday's match and is about us continuing our winning start to the tournament with a victory over Georgia," he said. "It should not be interpreted as a reflection on our performance against Romania.
"We spoke before the tournament about the need to utilise our squad over these opening two games given the proximity of the fixtures and that is what we have done.
"Of course we will look for considerable improvement on our display at the weekend, particularly in our discipline at the breakdown, an area where we have been consistently good in recent times. We simply must not give away cheap three points."
Scotland: R Lamont; M Evans, N De Luca, G Morrison, S Lamont; D Parks, R Lawson (capt); A Jacobsen, S Lawson, E Murray, N Hines, J Hamilton, A Strokosch, R Rennie, K Brown.
Replacements: R Ford, G Cross, A Dickinson, R Gray, R Vernon, C Cusiter, C Paterson.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September