Blair back to lead Scotland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blair back to lead Scotland

10/11/2010 02:07:59 AM Comments (0)

Mike Blair will resume the Scotland captaincy when they bid for a first Test win against New Zealand after being restored to the side by coach Andy Robinson.

Former England flanker and coach Robinson's team, unveiled here on Tuesday, showed five changes to the starting XV that ran out for Scotland's last Test, a 13-9 win away to Argentina in June.

Blair replaced Rory Lawson, now on the bench, while Rory Lamont came in for the recently injured Simon Danielli on the wing.

In the pack Euan Murray is preferred to Moray Low at tighthead prop while the Glasgow pair, Richie Gray, 21, and Richie Vernon, 23, will both make their first starts for Scotland in place of their team-mates, Alastair Kellock and Johnnie Beattie both of whom are recovering from injuries.

Kellock was captain in Scotland's 2-0 Test series win over Argentina but was ruled out of facing New Zealand because of injury.

Scotland have lost 25 of their 27 Tests against New Zealand, with their best results two draws -- 0-0 in 1964 and 25-25 in 1983.

This is their first match of the November programme and Scotland could hardly have a more difficult start.

But they are unbeaten in four matches and Robinson said it was vital his men retained the self-belief built-up during their recent run of results.

"It is imperative that we front up from the first whistle against the All Blacks on Saturday and play the game at a tempo where we can unveil our skills and show our discipline, because the winning of this Test match is in our hands," Robinson said.

"We have shown our appetite to drive forward our game and our aim is to improve on our best performances last season, which we know inspired the country," he added.

"As someone who loves his rugby, it's been a real thrill to watch many of New Zealand's games this year and, for me, it's important that this month the Scotland team earn the respect of the southern hemisphere by the qualities we bring to bear."

Tri-Nations champions New Zealand, bidding for a 'grand slam,' will arrive at Murrayfield on the back of a 26-16 victory against England at Twickenham last weekend.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry is due to name his side on Thursday.

Scotland (15-1)

Hugo Southwell; Rory Lamont, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Sean Lamont; Dan Parks, Mike Blair (capt); Richie Vernon, John Barclay, Kelly Brown; Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray; Euan Murray, Ross Ford, Allan Jacobsen

Replacements: Scott Lawson, Alasdair Dickinson, Nathan Hines, Ross Rennie, Rory Lawson, Ruaridh Jackson, Nikki Walker

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news