New recruit Laidlaw named to skipper Scotland against USA
6 June 2014 11:02
By Tom Burrows
Greig Laidlaw captains the Scots
New summer signing Greig Laidlaw has been named as Scotland captain for the upcoming international against the USA Eagles in Houston on Sunday, in new Head Coach Vern Cotter's first game in charge.
Head coach Vern Cotter has named three debutants in his first Scotland selection for this Saturday's summer Test match against USA in Houston, Texas (7 June, kick-off 7.30pm local time, 1.30am BST)
Glasgow Warriors pair Gordon Reid (prop) and Finn Russell (stand-off), and London Irish back-row, Blair Cowan, will start their first international outing at the BBVA Compass Stadium, while prop Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) and scrum-half Grayson Hart (Edinburgh Rugby) could debut from the bench.
Reid, an unused replacement in the 2012 Autumn Test match against Tonga, will keep experienced company in the forwards, starting alongside Scott Lawson (hooker) and Geoff Cross (prop), and familiar locking duo Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton.
Cowan is joined in the back-row by Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) and number 8 Johnnie Beattie (Castres), the latter starting his first match since injuring his ankle in the RBS 6 Nations match against France in March.
In the backs, 21 year-old Russell will be accompanied by scrum-half and captain, Greig Laidlaw, who will share the responsibility of orchestrating a physical midfield partnership of Duncan Taylor and Sean Lamont, and a dynamic back-three trio of Tim Visser, Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg.
Scotland Head Coach said; "There's a lot of excitement of excitement within the team leading into this Test. There are players who are going to earn their first cap for Scotland, and there are those who see this as a chance to stake a claim for the Rugby World Cup squad in 2015.
"There are only a certain number of opportunities remaining for players to express and prove themselves."
Scotland team to face USA at the BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas.
(Kick off 7.30pm Local Time, 1.30am BST)
15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
14. Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors)
13. Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors)
12. Duncan Taylor (Saracens)
11. Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)
10. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors)
9. Greig Laidlaw (C) (Gloucester Rugby)
1. Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors)
2. Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons)
3. Geoff Cross (London Irish)
4. Richie Gray (Castres Olympique)
5. Jim Hamilton (Saracens)
6. Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan)
7. Blair Cowan (London Irish)
8. Johnnie Beattie (Castres Olympique)
16. Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors)
18. Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby)
20. Kieran Low (London Irish)
21. Grayson Hart (Edinburgh Rugby)
22. Ruaridh Jackson (London Wasps)
23. Max Evans (Castres Olympique)
Henry Purdy, a first half replacement for Charlie Sharples, was amongst the try scorers in the 64-19 victory over Aviron Bayonnais on Saturday evening and told GRTV that it was a professional performance, one the team are happy with.
Gloucester's win in Treviso last week means that they need a bonus point win against Bayonne on Saturday evening to secure a home quarter-final (kick off 8pm), but Tim Taylor wants the team to focus on the performance first and foremost.
Billy Burns and Man of the Match Richard Hibbard spoke to GRTV after the 41-0 win in Treviso, on a day when preparations weren't ideal. They felt the team's attitude was key and also praised the travelling support.
Matt Scott was again in impressive try scoring form for the Cherry and Whites on Saturday, and the Scotsman laid praise on his fellow backs for their attacking skills in a big 55-19 win over Worcester Warriors
Knowing a bonus point win would secure a home quarter-final, Gloucester completed their European mission in some style on Saturday evening, sweeping aside a spirited but outgunned Aviron Bayonnais scoring 10 tries on their way to a 64-19 victory.
The Gloucester Rugby Heroes are back this month, and the huge array of past stars of Cherry and White, with a sprinkling of sporting legends and TV stars will assemble to take on the South African Legends on Sunday 29th January at Kingsholm.