Robinson opts for change
February 23, 2012
Sean Lamont moves to outside centre for Scotland's clash with France © Getty Images
Scotland boss Andy Robinson has made four changes for their clash with France at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Stuart Hogg is to make his first Test start at full-back, with his Glasgow Warriors team-mates John Barclay and Graeme Morrison recalled at blindside flanker and inside centre, respectively. Mike Blair has been called up at scrum-half, with two positional switches - Sean Lamont moving from inside to outside centre and Rory Lamont from full-back to the right wing.
Two of the changes were enforced, with Barclay replacing Alasdair Strokosch, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a fractured hand, and wing Max Evans unavailable for selection due to an ankle injury.
Strokosch and Evans joined London Irish centre Joe Ansbro and Saracens back-row Kelly Brown in being unavailable for selection.
Hooker Ross Ford has been retained as captain and is joined in the front row by Edinburgh team-mates Allan Jacobsen and Geoff Cross, who lines up at tighthead with Euan Murray unavailable for Sunday games for religious reasons. Richie Gray is joined in the second row by Jim Hamilton, who has shaken off a throat infection, while the back row is comprised of Barclay, Ross Rennie and David Denton.
Blair, who replaces Chris Cusiter at scrum-half, joins fly-half Greig Laidlaw at half-back, having combined effectively for Edinburgh this season. Laidlaw is set to start his second Test and win his fifth cap.
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has opted to keep the same squad which was set to take to the field against Ireland ahead of Sunday's clash.
Julian Dupuy was a late addition to the side for the round two match with Dimitri Yachvili out with a back injury and the Biarritz half-back has failed to prove his fitness. Morgan Parra therefore gets the nod at scrum-half.
Louis Picamoles starts at openside, despite concerns over his fitness, with Julien Bonnaire ready to step in if called upon.
Scotland: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); R Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), L Jones (Edinburgh); G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (capt, Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), J Hamilton (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), R Rennie (Edinburgh), D Denton (Edinburgh)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), E Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), R Vernon (Sale Sharks), C Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), D Weir (Glasgow Warriors), N De Luca (Edinburgh)
France: Maxime Médard, Vincent Clerc, Aurélien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Julien Malzieu, François Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Papé, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (c), Louis Picamoles, Imanol Harinordoquy
Replacements: William Servat, Vincent Debaty, Lionel Nallet, Julien Bonnaire, Julian Dupuy, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Mermoz
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic