Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Robinson taps untried talent

Andy Robinson

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson showed his faith in the country's latest crop of professionals by naming four uncapped players in his squad to face the world's best team.

Glasgow stand-off Ruaridh Jackson, Edinburgh pair Greig Laidlaw and Jim Thompson, and Northampton back Joe Ansbro are in a 34-man group that will prepare for the Murrayfield meeting with New Zealand on November 13.

Ross Rennie has also been called up as he bids for a more successful second cap than his first, which saw him suffer a serious knee injury that sidelined his career for 18 months.

Jackson, 22, has established himself in Glasgow's number 10 jersey following the departure of Dan Parks to Cardiff.

Edinburgh full-back Thompson, 25, retains his place in the squad after watching the series win over Argentina from the sidelines while his team-mate follows in the footsteps of his uncle, former Scotland scrum-half Roy Laidlaw.

Northampton back Ansbro, 24, is another who Robinson has been monitoring and the Scotland coach feels confident about bringing into the fold ahead of the autumn test series, which also sees visits from South Africa and Samoa.

Robinson said: "We've got four players who haven't represented Scotland before and I guess you can probably include a fifth in Ross Rennie, who has had 20 minutes as a replacement in the Ireland game and unfortunately got injured in that game.

"There are some good young players who have been playing well for their clubs. Joe has been in the 22 for Northampton for the last year and been performing well off the bench.

"He came with us on the Scotland A tour in 2009 and performed well for us.

"He is a player with real potential. He can play centre or wing, he's got pace and is pretty physical in the way he defends."

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