Preview: Scotland v Argentina

Date published: November 27 2014

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New Scotland head coach Vern Cotter will get his first taste of action at Murrayfield when Argentina visit on Saturday.

New Scotland head coach Vern Cotter will get his first taste of action at Murrayfield when Argentina visit on Saturday.

The former Clermont boss encouragingly hasn’t been shy of making changes to his squad that have seen established figures like Kelly Brown, Max Evans and John Barclay miss out.

He will sincerely hope Saturday’s game has a better outcome than the last time Scotland ran out, suffering a 55-6 thrashing by South Africa at the end of a June tour that took them across the Americas and finally to Port Elizabeth.

Such a heavy loss, considering it came nearly in July, is perhaps no surprise. Three wins preceded the Springboks’ big win as Cotter ran the rule over his players.

Fast forward to November and team for Argentina has enormous potential – and is held in high regard by those who bet on sport.

Glasgow Warriors’ form in the Pro12 and Europe has been first-rate, which is why it’s not surprising to see so many of their Scottish players selected for the first Test this month.

Six of the backline have been picked from Glasgow, including uncapped centre Mark Bennett, with Euan Murray, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley and Adam Ashe in the pack taking the total to ten. Based on that, Cotter can’t be accused of not picking on form.

Perhaps the main concern is experience. The front row of Al Dickinson, Ross Ford and Murray have seen it all, but eight of the starting XV have ten caps or fewer. The back row of Harley, London Irish’s Blair Cowan and Ashe possess 11 in total.

Whether down to a combination of Scotland’s elder players no longer being good enough or a desire to make a statement, Cotter hasn’t held back mixing up his squad.

It’s a bold, exciting move to give youth a chance so close to the next Rugby World Cup – with backline talents such as Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour and Finn Russell asked to shine on the big stage. Greig Laidlaw, captain in the absence of Grant Gilchrist, is there to add experience.

More importantly, eight of the Scotland side that defeated Argentina in C

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