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Four changes for Canada clash

Scotland 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, who has injured his ankle, at lock, and Peter Horne come in at centre for Duncan Taylor (calf).

Glasgow's 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.

"Getting another cap was always something at the back of my mind when I was coming back from the injury," Horne said.

"First and foremost the aim was to get back playing for Glasgow and to get some form together for the end of the season - I knew time was going to be limited.

"It is always nice to start because you have more time to impose yourself on the game.

"It is a totally different game coming off the bench because a lot of the time you are filling in and are not sure where you are going to play.

"I know I have a big role in a lot of our plays. I have my job and will go out and do my bit, and hopefully contribute to a good win."

The final change due to injury is in the pack as Moray Low switches roles with Geoff Cross after the latter player 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," coach 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're very pleased to give him a start this week.

"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 - Scotland lost the only other Test they have played in the country, so the home side have a record to protect.

"We know we have a good team against us that are very attack-minded" said Cotter.

"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.

"It's important that the players are always taking on information and using that to seek, create and exploit opportunities.

"We've had a little bit more time to work together, look at some new combinations and increase the cohesion of the team so it's important we step up."

Canada make three changes from the side that lost to Japan.

In the forwards, Aaron Carpenter slots in at hooker, Jebb Sinclair returns at blindside flanker, and scrum-half Phil Mack starts ahead of Scotland-born Gordon McRorie.


From Belfast Telegraph