Scotland have made four changes in personnel and a further positional switch for Sunday’s Calcutta Cup clash in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Twickenham. The changes see Simon Danielli, Joe Ansbro  and Rory Lawson listed in the back division, while Nathan Hines is re-introduced in the blindside flanker berth he occupied against France in the first game of the championship, with Kelly Brown moving to No 8 from the side of the scrum.

It will be Danielli’s first start of the championship; Ansbro returns after missing the Ireland game through concussion in a club match; and Lawson is back in the No 9 shirt he wore against the Welsh.

Edinburgh duo Mike Blair and Nick De Luca will be on the bench, where they are joined for the first time in this championship by Gloucester flanker, 28-year-old Alasdair Strokosch, who missed the EMC Autumn Tests on account of a knee injury.

Wing Nikki Walker and No8 Johnnie Beattie are omitted altogether from the team that lost 18-21 to Ireland in Scotland’s last outing.

This weekend’s game marks 100 years since the first time Scotland visited Twickenham to face England.  In total they have played at “Billy Williams’ cabbage patch” on 44 occasions and have won on only four of them – the most recent 28 years ago.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: “The record books show what a special achievement it would be for the Scotland team to win on Sunday.  That is our intention and we firmly believe that if we can deliver a sustained, intelligent and ruthless performance then we can achieve our first win of this season’s championship.

“England have played some good rugby in this championship but Sunday is about our performance. Simon Danielli and Rory Lawson have both been playing well for their clubs and Joe Ansbro was unfortunate to miss the game against Ireland through injury, while Nathan Hines’ experience will be an asset for us in our back-row.”

Scotland team (sponsor Murray) to play England in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Twickenham on Sunday 13 March, kick-off 3pm

15 Chris Paterson (Edinburgh) 102 caps, 22 tries, 157 penalties, 87 conversions and 3 drop-goals, 764 points

14 Simon Danielli (Ulster) 27 caps, 6 tries, 30 points
13 Joe Ansbro (Northampton Saints) 4 caps
12 Sean Lamont (Scarlets) 53 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
11 Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps, 1 penalty and 1 conversion, 5 points
9 Rory Lawson (Gloucester) 25 caps

1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh) 53 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh) 46 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps
4 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps
5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN 30 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Nathan Hines (Leinster) 70 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
8 Kelly Brown (Saracens) 43 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 26 caps, 2 tries, 10 points


16 Scott Lawson (Gloucester) 25 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
17 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh) 3 caps
18 Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps
19 Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester) 17 caps, 1 try, 5 points
20 Mike Blair (Edinburgh) 69 caps, 5 tries, 25 points
21 Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues) 59 caps, 4 tries, 45 penalties, 13 conversions, 14 drop-goals, 223 points
22 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh) 22 caps.

Referee: Romain Poite (France).  Assistant referees: Jerome Garces (France) and Carlo Damasco (Italy).  TMO: Tony Redmond (Ireland)

  • kfield

    Interesting changes by Robinson! Rory Lawson was punished for Scotland’s diabolical performance against Wales last month when he was dropped to the bench after starting six of the previous seven Tests, but he comes back now at the expense of Mike Blair, even though Scotland did better against Ireland with Blair wearing No 9. Robinson mentioned Lawson’s club form and the scrum-half played in Gloucester’s superb win over Bath last Saturday, but he will need to improve vastly on his performance against Wales.
    Robinson also commented that Simon Danielli has been in good form for his club Ulster. He hasn’t been running in hatfuls of tries, but Ulster have won six out of eight games so far this year and the wing has played his part in that.
    Johnnie Beattie gives way to Nathan Hines in the back row. Hines is nine years older, three inches taller and more than two stone heavier, so clearly Robinson is going for bulk and a bit of the kind of old fashioned “dog” which only comes with experience.
    Will it be enough for Scotland to upset the odds and defy history by beating England at Twickenham? Probably not, but at least Robinson is trying to use the cards he has been dealt.