Scotland have named one new cap and two other players are making their first start in the RBS 6 Nations Championship for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with England at Murrayfield, kick off 5pm.
Lee Jones, the 23-year-old Edinburgh Rugby wing, is the debutant with his club colleagues, back-row forwards David Denton and Ross Rennie, starting in the competition for the first time. The trio are joined by experienced and battle hardened campaigners – six players in the squad have won more than 50 caps – including Blues Fly Half Dan Parks, as Scotland strive to win their opening match in the Championship for the first time since 2006.
In all, head coach Andy Robinson has made eight changes in personnel from the starting XV in Scotland’s last match – the narrow loss to England in the Rugby World Cup in Auckland back in October.
Robinson said today: “Form has played a part in selection. Edinburgh’s qualification for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and Glasgow’s performances in the RaboDirect PRO12 mean that competition for places has intensified, particularly in the back-row.
“But, as ever, we select to win an international rugby match. It is not by accident that these games are referred to as Test matches – because that is what they are, the ultimate in physical and mental challenge and that is certainly always on the menu when England are our opponents.
“We have experienced players in our team and they must make that knowledge count by helping the team to a successful start on Saturday.”
Scotland team to play England in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Murrayfield
15 Rory Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 26 caps, 6 tries, 30 points
14 Lee Jones (Edinburgh Rugby) new cap
13 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby) 29 caps, 1 try, 5 points
12 Sean Lamont (Scarlets) 60 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
11 Max Evans (Castres) 24 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
10 Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues) 66 caps, 4 tries, 15 conversions, 53 penalties, 17 drop-goals, 260 points
9 Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors) 55 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby) 60 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 53 caps, 2 tries, 10 points CAPTAIN
3 Euan Murray (Newcastle Falcons) 41 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 16 caps
5 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester) 34 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester) 23 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Ross Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby) 11 caps
8 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap
16 Scott Lawson (Gloucester) 29 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
17 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps
18 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 36 caps, 1 try, 5 points
19 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
20 Mike Blair (Edinburgh Rugby) 75 caps, 7 tries, 35 points
21 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps
22 Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland). Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France) and Leighton Hodges (Wales). TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)