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Scots recall Brown, delay backline

20th November 2013 12:16

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Kelly Brown scotland

Skipper: Kelly Brown

Scotland make four changes to their pack and await the fitness of winger Tommy Seymour ahead of Saturday's November Test against Australia.

With Seymour's participation in doubt, the backline has yet to be finalised for the Murrayfield clash.

Glasgow Warriors team-mates prop Ryan Grant and lock Tim Swinson return to the starting line-up for Alasdair Dickinson and Richie Gray while the definitive alterations at this stage are completed by Johnnie Beattie and Kelly Brown taking back-row berths, with Brown restored to the captaincy, instead of Alasdair Strokosch and John Barclay.

Changes are made to the bench too, where the uncapped 22-year-old Kieran Low is joined by Pat MacArthur, Dickinson and Euan Murray.

The match is a landmark for lock Jim Hamilton who will become the 35th Scot to win 50 or more caps for his country.

One of Hamilton's predecessors in that distinguished club, Sean Lamont, would equal Gregor Townsend as the third most-capped Scotland back should he win his 82nd cap on Saturday.

At the other end of the scale, the uncapped 20-year-old former Scotland age-grade captain, Glasgow Warriors' Mark Bennett, could figure in a Scotland match-day 23 for the first time.

And in a further statistical nicety Johnnie Beattie will overtake his dad, John, when he wins his 26th cap, Beattie senior having won 25.

"A six day turn-around from one Test match to another is always a challenge and it's one we'll face in our opening two games of the 2014 Six Nations Championship too," said Scotland head coach Scott Johnson.

"Tommy (Seymour) took a bang on the leg against South Africa at the weekend so we're looking to give him every opportunity to prove his fitness. We'll finalise our starting back division and bench once we have an update there.

"We're clear in what we're trying to do at the moment which is look at different combinations with a view to intensifying the competition for places in the team. That mantra doesn't change, so we adhere to the plan, while dealing with injuries and while always being true to the jersey.

"Australia played some quality rugby against Ireland last weekend and we're very much looking forward to renewing rivalry with them on Saturday."

Scotland: Backs from: Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Nick De Luca, Mark Bennett, Duncan Taylor, Max Evans, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Duncan Weir, Greig Laidlaw, Chris Cusiter; 8 Dave Denton, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 John Beattie, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Al Dickinson, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Kieran Low, 21 TBC, 22 TBC, 23 TBC

Date: Saturday, November 23
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 18:00 GMT
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzčre (France), Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Television match official: Geoff Warren (England) Lyndon Bray (SANZAR)

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