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Finn Russell misses out for Scotland : Rugby World Cup 2015

by vlad on Четверг, Октябрь 1st, 2015

Duncan Weir will start at fly-half for Scotland against South Africa on Saturday after Finn Russell was confirmed as an injury absentee.

Back-row Blair Cowan, who was called into the squad as an injury replacement, comes straight into a starting line-up showing 10 changes.

Prop Gordon Reid and centre Richie Vernon will also make their first appearances of the Rugby World Cup.

Greig Laidlaw returns as captain after being rested against United States.

Fellow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, who was skipper in Laidlaw’s absence, drops out of the match-day squad, with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne poised to make his first World Cup appearance from the bench.

Vern Cotter’s side head for St James’ Park to face Pool B’s top seeds having recorded bonus-point wins over the Americans and Japan.

«This is a massive test for our team,» Cotter said. «Playing South Africa is one of the biggest challenges you can face as a rugby player.

«We’ll need to be very good on the day.»

Scotland include South Africa-born forwards WP Nel and Josh Strauss and Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer revealed that he had changed his side’s line-out calls as because they would be familiar to both players.

«I’m sure that team evolves every week, responded Cotter. «I’m sure those two players will be able to understand a couple of exchanges in the team, but we’re focusing on what we’ve been preparing as a team.

«That’s probably more important than perhaps a couple of conversations between players on the South African team. Perhaps it may help, but our cohesion as a team is more important.»

He is joined in the front row by Willem Nel, who replaces Jon Welsh, while Jonny Gray returns to start alongside brother Richie in place of the injured Grant Gilchrist.

Josh Strauss moves to the blindside flank at the expense of Alasdair Strokosch to accommodate David Denton’s return at number eight.

Stuart Hogg continues at full-back and will be the only player to start all three matches for Scotland.

 

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