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Robinson goes for speed

Head coach Andy Robinson believes speed is of the essence for Scotland, who have 80 minutes on Saturday against Auld Enemy England to revive their World Cup campaign.

Scotland battle England in the must-win Pool B battle at Eden Park in Auckland with a side showing six changes and one positional switch from the one which began the 13-12 loss to Argentina.

Mike Blair has been named at scrum-half, Sean Lamont at centre alongside Joe Ansbro and Simon Danielli on the wing, behind a pack which sees the return of captain Alastair Kellock, prop Euan Murray and number eight Richie Vernon and Robinson said: "I just felt that we need to put a bit more pace into the team."

He added: "Secondly getting the balance right, because you can put pace in the team but you still have to be able to establish a go-forward.

"We have to be able to play through England because we won't be able to beat them by just playing around them.

"Picking Mike at scrum-half with Chris (Cusiter) on the bench I believe we're able to do that, and with Sean coming in at centre."

Second row Kellock was omitted from the team to play the Pumas, despite being named tournament captain in August, and comes in for Jim Hamilton, who has been struggling with a knee injury.

Now scrum-half Lawson, the captain against Georgia and Argentina, must face up to being outside the matchday 22, with Blair preferred for the Edinburgh number nine to win his 75th cap. Graeme Morrison has been omitted for Lamont at centre, with Danielli coming onto the wing.

Robinson added: "He (Lamont) is confident coming in there and we need a ball-carrier that can buy us some time to get players into position, and Sean did that well.

"He was up to 10 or 11 carries last week on the wing, and we expect him to carry more in the centre."


From Belfast Telegraph