Preview: Copy of Paterson steers Scots to victory over Wales
June 5, 2007
Wales and Scotland both tasted defeat on the opening weekend of this year's RBS Six Nations so the pressure will be on to turn things around and get their campaign's back on track.
Scotland coach Frank Hadden insists he will explore every reasonable option at stand-off after Dan Parks lost his place to Phil Godman for Saturday's Murrayfield clash against Wales.
Godman will line up against the Welsh in the RBS 6 Nations Championship clash, despite Hadden describing the kicking performance by Parks against England last weekend as "unbelievable".
Since taking over as head coach 17 months ago, Hadden has given four different players game time at stand-off - Godman, Parks, Chris Paterson and Gordon Ross.
However, no member of that quartet has emerged as his 'go-to' man, and with the World Cup only seven months away Hadden wants to assess the candidates for the number 10 jersey under competitive conditions.
Hadden said: "I don't think I would be doing my job if I didn't look under every available stone, not just for the best combination going into the World Cup but also for whatever happens next.
"Somebody could fall in front of a bus tomorrow; it's my job to make sure that when we go to the World Cup we don't spring somebody in out of the cold."
Parks started against England at Twickenham, and he drops out of the Scotland matchday squad despite receiving praise for his display in the 42-20 defeat.
His place has been taken by 24-year-old Godman, who was not even in the squad for the England match.
Hadden said: "I can't tell you how many coaches this week have talked about the unbelievable quality of Dan's kicking last weekend.
"Everyone is talking about it in rugby circles, about how exceptional it was, and especially when you compare it to someone like Jonny Wilkinson, who has had a lot of time to practice over the last few years.
"But we are bringing in a guy who we believe has world-class attacking skills, someone who played once in the autumn against Romania, and who needs another opportunity to show that he can lead the team to victory this weekend.
"Phil Godman and Dan Parks are very different players - as is Chris Paterson, who spent 15 minutes playing stand-off last weekend - and that is exactly what Scotland needs.
"We need people who can ask different questions of the opposition, we need people who have different weapons in their armoury, and we need to ask Wales some different questions this weekend.
"Dan has led the attack at Glasgow exceptionally well recently, and they have won a lot of games with him at stand-off, so it is well documented that he is a very good passer - but Phil is an outstanding passer.
"It is fairly straightforward."
When asked why Ross has not featured at international level since starting for Scotland against South Africa during the summer, Hadden said: "Gordon Ross isn't playing a lot of rugby at the moment [for Olympique Castres in France] and that is unfortunate.
"We need him to get a bit of game time and hopefully that will be rectified soon."
Godman has also spent time on the sidelines in recent weeks, with veteran Duncan Hodge getting the nod ahead of him for Edinburgh's recent Magners League matches against Connacht and Llanelli Scarlets.
"There is a big difference between what Phil is getting and what Gordon is getting," said Hadden.
"Phil got a breather at just the right time, in my opinion. He's had 15, maybe 18, games on the trot, and he will have responded well to that breather, we believe.
"Obviously it is great that Duncan is getting an opportunity as well, because the more contenders we have at stand-off the better.
"Anything can happen over the next few months during the preparation for the World Cup, and we do not have the deepest resources in world rugby."
Godman will be one of nine Edinburgh players in Hadden's side, after he, inside centre Rob Dewey and second-row forward Scott Murray were called in at the expense of Glasgow's Andrew Henderson, Dan Parks and Alastair Kellock.
Dewey, who sustained a knee cartilage injury on his Scotland debut in November, made a try-scoring appearance off the bench against England last week.
The Glasgow trio of Andrew Henderson, Parks and Alastair Kellock were all omitted to accommodate the Edinburgh players, who join club-mates Hugo Southwell, Marcus Di Rollo, Scotland captain Chris Paterson, Dougie Hall, Simon Taylor and David Callam in the starting XV.
Dewey, 23, and Godman will be making their first Six Nations starts, while 31-year-old Murray wins an 81st cap.
Edinburgh prop Simon Taylor will win a 50th cap, becoming the 21st Scottish player to achieve the feat, and Hadden said: "Any time you ask Simon to improve upon something he does so.
"Recently I have asked him to improve the quality of his verbal communication and leadership during matches and his response has been, typically, first-class."
Head coach Gareth Jenkins has backed "bionic man" Mark Jones to help Wales rediscover their killer instinct for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland.
Jones, 27, has recovered from an ankle injury and returns to the Wales side for the trip to Murrayfield in place of Hal Luscombe, who is struggling to overcome a bang to the knee.
The other changes to last weekend's 19-9 home defeat to Ireland all come in the scrum, with Jenkins awarding starts to Ospreys props Duncan and Adam Jones plus lock Robert Sidoli.
Wales created plenty of opportunities against the Irish but missed Mark Jones' finishing qualities and ended tryless for the first time in a Test since the 41-3 defeat to New Zealand in November 2005.
But the Llanelli Scarlets winger said: "Now I am back in the team I hope to bring some more options and a cutting edge.
"If we can get the type of possession and territory we got in the early stages of the Ireland game I think we can impose ourselves on them."
Jenkins knows Jones better than just about anyone in rugby, having coached him at the Scarlets and watched him battle through two years of injury hell after the World Cup to re-establish himself as a Test player.
And Jenkins believes Jones will be a vital addition to the side for Saturday's clash as Wales look to get their Six Nations title campaign back on track.
The coach said: "I have always been impressed with Mark as a person and it is a testament really to his immense strength of mind and dedication that he has been selected on Saturday.
"He has had two knee reconstructions and a host of other bumps, the latest being a twisted ankle, and he is ready to play for his country again. It is great.
"When you know his mind and his inner strength it was clear that so long as his limbs held up he would make it back to the top. And he has.
"It proves to everyone that in the modern game you can be rebuilt. He is something of a bionic man!
"Mark brings a lot of international experience to the team for Saturday, something we lacked last week, and he also brings top-end pace.
"He has got a lot of rugby behind him this season. He scored tries in the autumn (particularly against Australia) that are as good as any you will see in world class rugby.
"His inclusion is a real plus factor in our selection. Hal injured his knee against the Irish and Mark's return to full fitness has come just at the right time for us."
Jamie Robinson will continue at outside centre while there is a welcome return from injury for Tom Shanklin, who has been named on the bench.
Shane Williams was not considered after suffering a stomach bug. There is still no place in the squad for Gavin Henson.
Jenkins explained: "We've said same again to most of the back-line that faced Ireland and given them the chance to add a more clinical edge to what they achieved last weekend.
"We are also pleased to name Tom Shanklin on the bench. A fit Tom Shanklin will be an asset and he should play some part in proceedings on Saturday."
Up front, Jenkins has reacted to Wales' six-day turnaround by starting with Ospreys pair Duncan and Adam Jones in the front row and Sidoli alongside Alun Wyn Jones at lock.
"Being energised is very important, particularly as we play a very demanding style of rugby," said Jenkins.
"I have valuable selection options in the pack and bringing new energy into the team was the reason behind the changes."
Wales head to Scotland determined to bounce back from their opening weekend defeat and remain in the hunt for the Six Nations title.
Jenkins said: "We may have lost the first battle of the Championship, but that doesn't mean our campaign is over by any means.
"Scotland are not a side to be under-estimated, they can be especially dangerous at home and we will not be going into this game under-estimating them.
"But there were many positive points to take from our performance against Ireland and we will be looking to the Scotland game for a marked improvement and to get our Six Nations trophy challenge back on track."
Teams for Scotland versus Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Murrayfield on Saturday at 3.30pm.
Scotland: H Southwell (Edinburgh); S Lamont (Northampton), M Di Rollo (Edinburgh), R Dewey (Edinburgh), C Paterson (Edinburgh, capt); P Godman (Edinburgh), C Cusiter (Borders); G Kerr (Borders), D Hall (Edinburgh), E Murray (Glasgow), J Hamilton (Leicester), S Murray (Edinburgh), S Taylor (Edinburgh), K Brown (Borders), D Callam (Edinburgh).
Replacements: R Ford (Borders), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), N Hines (Perpignan), A Hogg (Edinburgh), R Lawson (Gloucester), S Webster (Edinburgh), N Walker (Ospreys).
Wales: K Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons); M Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), J Robinson (Cardiff Blues), J Hook (Ospreys), C Czekaj (Cardiff Blues); S Jones (Llanelli Scarlets, capt), D Peel (Llanelli Scarlets); D Jones (Ospreys), R Thomas (Cardiff Blues), A Jones (Ospreys), R Sidoli (Cardiff Blues), A Wyn Jones
Replacements: M Rees (Llanelli Scarlets), G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), I Gough (Newport Gwent Dragons), J Thomas (Ospreys), M Phillips (Cardiff Blues), C Sweeney (Newport Gwent Dragons), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues).
Referee: A Lewis (Ireland).
Touch judges: C White (England) and F Cuesta (Argentina).
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