Scotland and France ring the changes
February 4, 2010
Mathieu Bastareaud returns for France © Getty Images
Scotland coach Andy Robinson has made six changes to his side for Sunday's Six Nations opener against France.
Robinson has recalled record cap holder and points scorer Chris Paterson at fullback for his 99th appearance, and has also drafted in Glasgow centres Max Evans and Graeme Morrison, Gloucester prop Alasdair Dickinson and Glasgow flankers Kelly Brown and John Barclay. Two of the changes were injury-enforced, with fullback Rory Lamont and flanker Alasdair Strokosch both ruled out yesterday due to ankle problems.
Despite impressing during the autumn internationals, Worcester centre Alex Grove has been relegated to the bench, with the fit-again Max Evans preferred. It was a similar story with Edinburgh prop Allan Jacobsen, who lost out to Dickinson.
Barclay reclaims the No.7 jersey from Alan MacDonald, who made his debut in the defeat to Argentina last time out and is among the replacements. Phil Godman is retained in the fly-half jersey, with Robinson surprisingly electing not to include either Dan Parks or Ruaridh Jackson on the bench. Uncapped 20-year-old Glasgow lock Richie Gray is among the replacements, however.
Mathieu Bastareaud will return to the Test arena for France. The Stade Francais centre has been handed the No.13 jersey for the first time since causing a political furore by fabricating an assault story while on tour in New Zealand in 2009. He is partnered in midfield by Yannick Jauzion, while Francois Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra are named at halfback.
Toulouse veteran Clement Poitrenaud is installed at fullback, with Benjamin Fall winning his second cap on the wing. Clermont Auvergne skipper Aurelien Rougerie returns on the opposite wing for his first cap since March 2008.
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); T Evans (Glasgow), M Evans (Glasgow), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets); P Godman (Edinburgh), C Cusiter (Glasgow); A Dickinson (Gloucester), R Ford (Edinburgh), M Low (Glasgow), N Hines (Leinster), A Kellock (Glasgow), K Brown (Glasgow), J Barclay (Glasgow), J Beattie (Glasgow)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow), A MacDonald (Edinburgh), R Lawson (Gloucester), A Grove (Worcester), H Southwell (Stade Francais)
France: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); B Fall (Bayonne), M Bastareaud (Stade Francais), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), A Rougerie (Clermont); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Parra (Clermont); T Domingo (Clermont), W Servat (Toulouse), N Mas (Perpignan), L Nallet (Racing Metro), P Pape (Stade Francais), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
Replacements: D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), L Ducalcon (Castres), J Pierre (Clermont), J Bonnaire (Clermont), F Michalak (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), V Clerc (Toulouse), S Marconnet (Stade Francais)
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