Johnson delays backline selection

Date published: March 12 2014


Scotland boss Scott Johnson has named 13 backs from which he will finalise selection for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales.

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has named 13 backs from which he will finalise selection for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales.

Injuries sustained in last weekend's match against France have meant that Johnson will consider his options at training on Wednesday and Thursday before confirming the make-up of his back division and bench.

Meanwhile, among the forwards, the only change to the eight which started the French Test sees Ryan Wilson restored to the back-row in place of the injured Johnnie Beattie, with the experienced Alasdair Strokosch returning to provide cover on the bench.

Prop Alasdair Dickinson, has recovered from the calf injury he sustained in Rome last month, and also returns to the substitutes.

“We're obviously already without Sean Lamont in the backs after the knee problem he picked up against France,” said Johnson.

“We've also got some concerns about our wingers, Tommy (Seymour) and Max (Evans) and we're going to wait until tomorrow to see how they are.”

Options then could see Jack Cuthbert, the 26-year-old Edinburgh back, who won his only cap to date in the 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland, return to the fray.

Cuthbert made a strong impression in the Scotland A draw with England Saxons at Scotstoun in January, as did his Edinburgh team-mate Dougie Fife.

Fife, 23, uncapped, a product of Firrhill High School in Edinburgh and the Boroughmuir and Currie clubs, is unbeaten in two games for Scotland A against England Saxons and has scored ten tries for Edinburgh in 41 appearances.

Then there is Lee Jones, whose last cap was against Ireland two years ago, but has been revitalised after involvement with Scotland 7s on the Sevens World Series and his loan spell with Glasgow Warriors, including a fine individual try against the Blues in Cardiff.

Scotland: Backs from: Chris Cusiter, Jack Cuthbert, Alex Dunbar, Max Evans, Dougie Fife, Stuart Hogg, Ruaridh Jackson ,Lee Jones, Greig Laidlaw, Matt Scott, Duncan Taylor, Richie Vernon, Duncan Weir, 8 Dave Denton, 7 Kelly Brown (c), 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Ryan Grant
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Al Dickinson, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Al Strokosch, 21 TBC, 22 TBC, 23 TBC

Date: Saturday 15th March
Venue: Millenium Stadium
Kick-off: 1445 (local and GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (Fra)
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (NZ), Greg Garner (Eng)
TMO: Graham Hughes (Eng)