Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Teams For France vs Scotland

Andy Robinson has picked a fairly interesting team for the tournament opener against France on Saturday, opting to forego the form of Rob Harley and stick Big Nathan in at openside to allow him his preferred second row of Gray and Kellock, while switching Kelly Brown to his old position of Number 8. His front row is exactly as you would expect, the match being on a Saturday and there are a few surprises in the backs as well.

Newly returned from injury Nick De Luca forms a new centre partnership with in form Joe Ansbro while Max Evans returns to the wing where many feel he will have the most impact. Southwell has made the most of his time in France and cemented his 15 shirt while the other wing slot goes to Nikki Walker, who will need to keep the form we saw in the Samoa game as there are plenty others lining up to take what could be considered one of the few “open” slots on the team sheet.

Scotland Team: Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Nikki Walker (Ospreys), Joe Ansbro (Northampton), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow), Dan Parks (Cardiff), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford (both Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Newcastle), Richie Gray, Al Kellock (captain) (both Glasgow), Nathan Hines (Leinster), John Barclay (Glasgow), Kelly Brown (Saracens).
Replacements: Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Richie Vernon (all Glasgow), Ross Rennie, Mike Blair (both Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow), Sean Lamont (Scarlets).

And in the interests of balance, here is the France team:

France team: Damien Traille (Biarritz); Yoann Huget (Bayonne), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne); Thomas Domingo (Clermont Auvergne), William Servat (Toulouse), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Julien Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), Lionel Nallet (Racing Metro), Thierry Dusautoir (captain, Toulouse), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz).
Replacements: Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Sebastien Chabal (Racing Metro), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), David Skrela (Toulouse), Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse).

k.o. 1700GMT

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5 Responses

  1. I must admit I do like the balance……I would like Beattie on the bench but Vernon isnae a bad player and as for Harley, he is going to be a big player for us but he’s learning and isn’t better (yet) than Rennie/Brown/Barclay at Test level. BRING ON LE BOOM!!!!

  2. Only France could have no Jauzion, no Oudraogo, a centre at 15 (he even played 10 against Oz!), a winger at centre (although he is 13 for Clermont), a centre(ish) on one wing and a green, untested lad on the other wing and STILL look ridiculously good!

    I’m glad Evans is back on the wing and Walker gets another go. He’s a big lad so him running short lines behind Ansbro’s shoulder could be refreshing. Hines is a worry for me. I hope he does his rucking job, goes FORWARD with the ball and doesn’t get yellow carded because his cover tackling may leave something to desire…

    Really it all comes down to De Luca vs. Mermoz. If NDL runs smart lines and distributes cleanly he can play his way into the game. If Mermoz presures him early, I wouldn’t be surpirsed if we see Lamont come on 10 mins into the second half and push Evans and Ansbro infield…

  3. Hines playing at 6 has been hinted at so heavily that it’s actual announcement should come as no surprise. The thing is France are not S.A. and the weather this Saturday in Paris looks fine for running rugby, unlike the weather when Hines was at 6 for the S.A. game! On the plus side his discipline seems to have improved so he’s not (I hope) the yellow card liability he used to be.

    I’m more concerned about DeLuca at 12 than Hines at 6 to be honest. Nothing against DeLuca – when on form he can be a very creative player – but that’s the problem I just don’t think he’s on form. I’d love him to prove me wrong and put in a MOTM performance.

  4. I think the midfield (unfortunately) is one of those things we’re not going to know how it will work until the day. We just have to hope there is a Plan B. Hines’ pace in defence does worry me a bit but he’s certainly been putting in the work with Leinster so I am quietly hopeful. Which is nothing new, and can all change quickly!

  5. Very surprised at the French side, shouldn’t expect any less from Lievremont though. I think Scotland could cause the French a lot of problems in Paris this weekend. Check out Andy Nicol’s views on Scotland’s prospects here: Andy Nicol on Scotland

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion