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)
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.