Laidlaw replaces Brown as skipper for Boks
November 13, 2013
Jonny Gray could make his Scotland debut on Saturday © PA Photos
Brown started against Japan last weekend but Scott Johnson has opted to rest his skipper and try out John Barclay at openside. "That was part of the plan, he was never going to play this game," Johnson said. "We predicted the Japanese game was going to be fast and furious, the back row would have done a lot of mileage. We knew that and we have a six-day turnaround at the back end.
"So it's us being half-smart, and it gives us the opportunity to see other combinations. Kelly will be seen in the Aussie game. That's just the way we have to do things. We have got to be smart here."
Richie Gray returns to the locks and his brother Jonny could make his debut for the national side if he gets his chance from the replacements. It has been a turbulent week for Scotland on the back of their comfortable victory over Japan as they had Matt Scott ruled out for the rest of the autumn series. In his place, Saracens' Duncan Taylor comes in at inside centre.
Taylor is the only change to the backs with the rest coming in the pack. Alongside Richie Gray in the locks comes Jim Hamilton while Alasdair Dickinson and Moray Low are the props with Euan Murray unavailable and Ryan Grant benched. In the back-row, John Barclay replaces Brown who is rested.
Laidlaw will captain the side, following his stint as skipper in two matches during the summer in South Africa. In the replacements, Scott Lawson, Johnnie Beattie, Chris Cusiter and Max Evans are added to the squad with 159 caps between them.
Interim Scotland coach Johnson explained the selection, saying: "I made it clear from the outset that there would be some constants in our selection for these three autumn tests, while we'd also look at both form and to the future.
"Injuries have also affected our plans this week but the game is attritional so you just have to get on with it. We met South Africa a mere 151 days ago in Nelspruit and they've certainly played some quality footy since we gave them a bit of a scare that day.
"I was proud of a lot of what we did in Nelspruit but in this business you have to perform for the entire game and we didn't do that in the match during the summer. As I said last weekend and as you'll hear me say without fear or favour at every game, the contact area will be vital this weekend and we have to improve there against a very clinical South African side."
Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Nick de Luca, Duncan Taylor, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Moray Low, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Alasdair Strokosch, John Barclay, David Denton
Replacements: Scott Lawson, Ryan Grant, Geoff Cross, Jonny Gray, John Beattie, Chris Cusiter, Duncan Weir, Max Evans
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Former British No.1 Elena Baltacha has revealed she has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver
Stuart Lancaster has said the time for talking is over and called on England to deliver a big performance when they face Wales on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will show its true potential this year as he heads to the first race of the season confident of success
Paul McGinley has hinted that English players could provide the backbone of his Ryder Cup team when Europe welcome America to Gleneagles in September.
Pirelli has released its in-season testing schedule, detailing when teams will work with the tyre manufacturer during test days this year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
Only Chelsea and Liverpool can win the Premier League this season, despite Jose Mourinho's claims
Australian Rugby Union officials in recent times have "lacked authority" when negotiating with New Zealand and South Africa, and they need to show "more backbone" when pushing national causes, Greg Growden reports
Tottenham have not won a game at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea since 1990, but there revival under Tim Sherwood could see them upset the odds in this London derby
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
Cristiano Ronaldo has played down his latest record, claiming landmarks come naturally to him
Eden Hazard believes he can surpass Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to be the best player in the world - but knows he needs to be twice the player he is at the moment to achieve his goal
Samir Nasri insists Arsene Wenger is a "magician" and believes criticism of his former manager about his lack of trophies is unfair
Mesut Ozil continued to face criticism as he was jeered by a section of Germany fans during his nation's 1-0 friendly win over Chile in Stuttgart
David Moyes was in attendance for France's 2-0 friendly win against the Netherlands in Paris on Wednesday to scout Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba as he considers how to rebuild his Manchester United squad
Join Gareth Davies, Ben Blackmore and Chris Park each week for the latest news, views and debate from the UFC
Once prone to putting his head down and looking the other way when walking past fans on the street, Andy Murray is finding lots of reasons to look them in the eye
'I'm glad that Vasyl Lomachenko is a pro and I'm also glad that he lost on Saturday,' writes ESPN's resident boxing expert Steve Bunce
The waiting is finally over after it was announced that 82-year-old Nick Bollettieri will be enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame later this summer