Gilchrist to lead Scots

Vern Cotter has made a bunch of changes to the Scotland team as the Sevens players and exiles fly home and the bare bones of Edinburgh and Glasgow fly out.

What this means is an exciting second row partnership of Jonny Gray and new captain grant Gilchrist. What it also means is that the back row looks a little unfamiliar and there is yet another half back pairing, including Six Nations incumbent Duncan Weir.

23-year-old Edinburgh Rugby lock Grant Gilchrist will captain the side, thus becoming the youngest Scotland captain since Gregor Townsend skippered the men in blue against Australia 18 years ago.

Gilchrist, who has captaincy experience from Scotland age-grade sides, in addition has taken on the leadership mantle from Greig Laidlaw during Edinburgh Rugby matches this season.

“It’s a huge honour, one I’m looking forward to,” declared Gilchrist. “I hope that I can fulfil what it is to be Scotland captain.  For me it’s a boyhood dream.  Of course there’s massive responsibility, not just to this team, but to the entire country and Scotland fans throughout the world, but I’m really excited by it.”

Cotter said: “He has impressed me with his leadership qualities. He’s already calling the lineouts and he’s been part of this tour right from the outset, which is important for continuity from the first two games.

“He leads by example. Some captains are more at ease talking and organising whereas Gilcho is more adept at just getting on with it.”

Gilchrist is joined by Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Peter Horne from the starting XV that barely scraped home against a determined Canada last week.

It was inevitable that there would be wholesale changes for the Pumas contest given the arrival of 13 new players from the UK this week.

Cotter explained: “What we’ve seen from previous games on the tour has been a desire to play. Mistakes have crept into our game because we haven’t spent much time together.  I’ve been pleased with the energy and desire to score tries but not happy with the execution.

“I’ve shown the (video) clips to the new players and I’m looking to them to bring that same energy and desire to carry the ball and secure opportunities and hopefully fresh legs can help. I need to see what players are doing.  We have to show teeth. We have to be able to attack from anywhere and we have to be able to dictate the pace and tempo of games.  It’s a challenge.”

Grayson Hart, Jonny Gray and Kieran Low – will make their first start for Scotland, while Ross Ford will become Scotland’s most-capped hooker, over-taking fellow Lion and former captain Gordon Bulloch.

Scotland have won their last three Tests on Argentine soil, once in 2008 and twice in 2010, and the Pumas, with the Rugby Championship on the horizon, have lost to Ireland in two matches over the past fortnight.

Scotland team (sponsor RBS) to play Argentina in Cordoba on Friday 20 June, kick-off 4.20pm local time (8.20pm UK – live on Sky Sports)

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 22 caps, 5 tries, 1 penalty, 28 points

14 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps, 1 try, 5 points
13 Nick De Luca (Biarritz) 41 caps, 1 try, 5 points
12 Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps
11 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps, 1 try, 3 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop-goal, 17 points
9 Grayson Hart (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap

1 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) 34 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 75 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Geoff Cross (London Irish) 30 caps, 1 try, 5 points
4 Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps
5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 6 caps, 1 try, 5 points CAPTAIN
6 Robert Harley (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Blair Cowan (London Irish) 2 caps
8 Kieran Low (London Irish) 3 caps

Substitutes

16 Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
17 Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
18 Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
19 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps
20 Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps, 1 try, 5 points
22 Tom Heathcote (Edinburgh Rugby) 3 caps
23 Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland). Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France) and Lourens Van Der Merwe (South Africa).  TMO: Deon van Bloomestein (South Africa).

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4 comments on “Gilchrist to lead Scots

  1. Scot95 on

    I would have went with Murchie at 13 and Hogg at fullback or vice versa and Gray as captain. If neither Eddie or Grant are released from the 7s squad it’ll have to be Tyrone Holmes although I do remember Adam Ashe playing well against Scarlets early on in the season.

  2. Overlyoptimistic on

    Surprised by Gilco but Vern won’t have had much time with Ford or Gray, hence the choice of captain.

    Back-row is a bit unknown but we won’t be physically bullied by pumas with two 6’6 blokes in there.

    Slight concern with props, never felt Dickinson or Cross were strong scrummagers but the latter has been good recently.

    De Luca will have a point to prove and he’s the type of player than can make a half break to get behind defence.

    If we can start strong and win our set-piece ball, then I’m confident this XV can do the job.

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