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Robinson puts faith in Jackson

Head coach Andy Robinson has entrusted Ruaridh Jackson with the crucial fly-half role for Scotland's vital World Cup Pool B clash with Argentina in Wellington on Sunday.

Jackson has been included as one of five changes to the team which beat Georgia 15-6, with scrum-half Rory Lawson retained as captain and tournament skipper Alastair Kellock left out of the matchday 22 altogether. Jackson has assumed the playmaker role from Dan Parks.

"We found the first two games hard. Certainly we're going to find this one even harder, so it's important we're able to take the game to Argentina," said Robinson. "What we want is for us to really play with the ball in hand. Who is our best passing 10? I think that is Ruaridh."

He continued: "Ruaridh has very good ability to challenge the line and go to defences. We want to bring our dangerous runners - Max Evans, Sean Lamont, Chris Paterson, Graeme Morrison - into the game.

"Now, that's our plan, that's what we want to do in the game. When it comes to the pressure of the game, we've got to be able to execute that plan."

Given Parks, who has won 64 caps, was instrumental in the 2-0 Test series success in Argentina in June 2010, the selection of Jackson could be considered as something of a gamble - something Robinson dismissed, saying: "This is picking a team to win a game of rugby - that's my focus."

That meant Kellock, who captained Scotland in South America 15 months ago and in the opening 34-24 victory over Romania, has been omitted.

Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton will start at second row, with the versatile Nathan Hines taking his place among the replacements. Gray is one of three changes in the pack, with Geoff Cross and John Barclay also recalled, while Chris Paterson returns at full-back in place of Rory Lamont.

Barclay replaces Ross Rennie at openside flanker in what Robinson suggested was a tough call - but Barclay has played against the Pumas three times and is yet to taste defeat.

Cross replaces tighthead prop Euan Murray, who is unavailable due to religious reasons as the match falls on a Sunday, and that had an impact in the selection of Hamilton.


From Belfast Telegraph