Grove set for Scotland bow
November 9, 2009
Worcester's Alex Grove has caught the eye during the current Premiership campaign © Getty Images
Worcester Warriors centre Alex Grove is set to make his international debut against Fiji on Saturday after being named by Scotland coach Andy Robinson for the Murrayfield clash.
The 21-year-old Premiership star is one of ten changes to the side that started the Six Nations clash with England in March - the side's last outing - as new boss Robinson looks to kick off his tenure with a win.
"We have selected a side that's full of power; that has the pace but also has the skill level to break down the Fijians," boasted Robinson, who took up his post in June. "Fiji are above us in the IRB rankings. They are a very dangerous team to play against. They are a very strong, powerful side who also hit very hard (in the tackle). We have to match fire with fire."
Scrum-half Chris Cusiter, appointed co-captain with fellow No.9 Mike Blair last week, will lead a starting side containing five of his Glasgow team-mates including fly-half Phil Godman.
Elsewhere, tight-head prop Moray Low is handed his first start in the place of the injured Euan Murray and will pack down alongside Edinburgh duo Allan Jacobsen and Ross Ford. Toulon's Rory Lamont edged out Edinburgh's Chris Paterson for the fullback berth while there is no place for Glasgow speedster Thom Evans.
Scotland: Rory Lamont (Toulon); Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Danielli (Ulster); Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors, captain); Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow Warriors), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)
Replacements: Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh), Jason White (Clermont Auvergne), Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh)
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown