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MacLeod ready for Springboks Test

Scotland second row Scott MacLeod is relishing taking on South Africa giants Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha as he prepares to make his first start for two years in the second EMC Autumn Test at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Edinburgh lock MacLeod is set to win his 23rd cap, having come off the replacements' bench in Scotland's second Test win in Argentina in June for his first cap since 2008.

The 31-year-old said: "The challenge to play South Africa, the world champions, with middle rows like Matfield and Botha, is everything you could ask for. It's a good challenge, one I'm looking forward to and hopefully it all goes well."

He added: "You want to see where you are on the world stage. Everybody's got these ideas how good you think you are, on Saturday I'll know on a personal level how good I am."

MacLeod's career appeared to stall when he reported two positive doping tests in a matter of months.

In early 2008, MacLeod cleared his named after a judicial committee accepted that a positive test had been caused by a change in his asthma medicine.

Later in the same year, MacLeod missed the autumn internationals - and Scotland's last meeting with South Africa - after another failed test, this time for elevated levels of testosterone, which it was later accepted had been caused by alcohol.

MacLeod is thrilled to be back.

He said: "I've not started for Scotland for a couple of years. It's been a long road, but it's been well worth it."


From Belfast Telegraph