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Robinson to keep the faith

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Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson will on Tuesday name his provisional squad for this autumn's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Robinson is poised to keep faith with the players who put in a lacklustre showing in the RBS 6 Nations, where Scotland avoided the wooden spoon only by beating Italy in their final match.

A summer of training will build until Test matches with Ireland (August 6) and Italy (August 20), with a deadline of August 22 for the final 30-man squad to be named.

Captain Alastair Kellock, his second row colleague Richie Gray and their Glasgow Warriors team-mate John Barclay, plus Edinburgh hooker Ross Ford and loosehead Allan Jacobsen are poised to be named after being withdrawn from the Magners League season finale to recuperate after lengthy campaigns.

Glasgow centre Graeme Morrison is set to return after missing the entire Six Nations with a knee injury, while Castres-bound Max Evans is poised to be included despite also missing the end of the Warriors' season after undergoing elbow surgery.

Chris Cusiter, who has not played a Test match since the 2010 Six Nations campaign, is also likely to be selected after it was announced the British and Irish Lions scrum-half will spend a month playing in Australia to build fitness for the World Cup.

Cusiter has played three games since making his comeback from a knee problem and will now be available for four matches with Sydney-based Southern Districts before vying with Rory Lawson, Mike Blair and Greig Laidlaw for the scrum-half places in the final squad.

Edinburgh full-back Chris Paterson - who has record points and appearance totals for Scotland - will be bidding to become the first Scot to play in four World Cups when the campaign begins against Romania in Invercargill on September 10.

Scotland also play Georgia in Invercargill on September 14, Argentina in Wellington on September 25 and England in Auckland on October 1, with two teams from the pool progressing to the quarter-finals.

One player who definitely will not be part of the tournament is Scott MacLeod, after the 24-cap lock quit Edinburgh for Japan and made himself unavailable for internationals.

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