Scotland freshen up replacements

Date published: November 13 2014

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has stuck with the same starting XV that defeated Argentina to face New Zealand in Edinburgh.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has stuck with the same starting XV that defeated Argentina to face New Zealand in Edinburgh.

The reselection means that all five of the match-winning try-scorers – locks Jonny and Richie Gray and back-three trio Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour – all earn a return to the fold.

Man of the Match winning captain Greig Laidlaw will once again orchestrate the back division alongside fly-half Finn Russell and a young midfield partnership of Alex Dunbar and Mark Bennett.

Packing down with the second-row Gray brothers is the experienced front-row trio of Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and Euan Murray, and the promising back-row combo of Rob Harley, Blair Cowan and Adam Ashe.

Despite the same starting XV, Cotter has made four changes to Scotland’s replacements bench.

Glasgow Warriors forwards Fraser Brown (hooker) and Tim Swinson (lock) replace Scott Lawson and Jim Hamilton, while Johnnie Beattie and Chris Cusiter come in for Alasdair Strokosch and the injured Henry Pyrgos (head knock).

Cotter said: “Last weekend we had the ball and looked dangerous, and showed great character to keep faith and confidence in our attacking philosophy.

“I really enjoyed watching the players play for each other against Argentina.

“They picked themselves up time and time again, and encouraged each other to keep on working for our collective cause.

“It was fantastic to see, as was our ability to get over the line and score tries, all of which contributed to a strong case for reselection.

“We showed last weekend that we’re developing an attack than can cause opposition teams problems. If we can force the All Blacks into making errors then we can give ourselves a chance.

“In saying that, the All Blacks are the world’s best at exposing errors so we’ll also have to be absolutely clinical in both our decision making and execution if we are to go one better than the 1983 team that drew with New Zealand here at Murrayfield.”

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Johnnie Beattie, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Sean Lamont

Date: Saturday, November 15
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kickoff: 17:30 local (GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Johnny Lacey (Ireland), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)