Four changes for Scotland ahead of Canada clash
June 13, 2014
Kelly Brown is restored to the starting XV after his exertions for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership final © Getty Images
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made four changes to his starting XV ahead of his second game in charge, against Canada in Toronto on Saturday.
Two of the forced changes see Grant Gilchrist take over from Jim Hamilton after the lock injured his ankle, while Peter Horne comes into the centres for Duncan Taylor, who has a calf problem.
Glasgow Warriors' Horne played twice as a replacement last summer - against Samoa and South Africa - but tore knee ligaments against the Springboks and almost missed an entire domestic season.
The final change due to injury is in the pack as Moray Low switches roles with Geoff Cross after the latter damaged a rib.
Saracens flanker Kelly Brown is restored to the team after missing out last week with niggles he picked up during the Aviva Premiership final. He is named as the openside, although he and Alasdair Strokosch, his back-row colleague, will switch around during the game.
Kevin Bryce will earn his first cap if he is used as a replacement and Kyle Traynor, the Bristol prop, takes the slot occupied by Alex Allan against the United States.
Grayson Hart is still waiting to make his debut as he keeps his place on the bench having been the only unused replacement in the opening game.
"Peter [Horne] is a specialist 12 and he gets an opportunity to slot straight in, having worked hard and asked a lot of questions since arriving," Cotter said. "Grant [Gilchrist] came on after 35 minutes against the USA and played very well. He's a leader within the group through his communication and his performances and was a good example of someone who's keen and wants to do well for the team.
"We have mobile locks who carry the ball well so I think it's complementary to have all those players together in the forward pack.
"Greig [Laidlaw] will keep the captaincy to give continuity for these two games."
Cotter is warning the side not to take Canada lightly. "We know we have a good team against us that are very attack-minded" he said.
"They carry a lot, they'll run from their own half and they have very big ball carriers that get good support, which makes them a hard team to steal the ball from when they start going forward."
Canada make three changes from the side that lost to Japan. Aaron Carpenter slots in at hooker, Jebb Sinclair returns at blindside flanker, and scrum-half Phil Mack starts ahead of Scotland-born Gordon McRorie.
Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Peter Horne, Tim Visser, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (c), Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Moray Low, Scott Lawson, Gordon Reid.
Replacements: Kevin Bryce, Alex Allan, Geoff Cross, Kieran Low, Blair Cowan, Grayson Hart, Ruaridh Jackson, Max Evans
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