Axeing Brown a hard call – Johnson

Date published: February 7 2014

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has admitted dropping captain Kelly Brown to play England was “one of the hardest decisions.”

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has admitted dropping captain Kelly Brown to play England was “one of the hardest decisions.”

Brown has made way for uncapped Glasgow Warriors openside Chris Fusaro for Saturday's game.

Expressing his admiration for Brown as a person, not just a player, Johnson revealed that he cared about Brown and how tough the call had been.

“It was certainly one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make as Scotland head coach, because there is a human side to this job,” Johnson told the Press Association.

“We are in the people's business and if you don't care for people you shouldn't be in it. I care for him and it was a tough decision.

“He's a guy I admire but it was the right decision. Using my vernacular, Chris is a ground feeder. He's low to the ground and plays below a lot of people.

“The ball will be on the ground a bit and he reminds me of the type of player back home.

“His regional form has been good. I've asked him to change some things and to improve some things in his game and has done that, so he deserves his run out.”

Fusaro, 24, said that he will be looking for the perfect combination of aggression and awareness when taking on England at Murrayfield.

“My size used to give me a bit of concern when I was younger, just given the position I play,” said Fusaro.

“But having played for Glasgow the last few years, I've learned to use my aggression to make up for my lack of size. I need to do that because I'm not as heavy as some of the guys I'm up against.

“Against England though, it can't all be about physicality, you have to use your brains. We had a team talk on the pitch at training and Greig (Laidlaw) made it clear to us that the top two inches were the most important.

“Playing smart with controlled aggression and physicality is all important against England but I think that's the type of player I am.”

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