Rugby Union: Scotland expecting hard time

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The Independent Online
SCOTLAND are anticipating a tough opening match to their tour of Argentina when they tackle Buenos Aires today. The Scots coach, Doug Morgan, admitted that he had little information on Argentinian rugby.

Morgan, however, was prepared to venture: 'Buenos Aires can be expected to play a physical game up front and put a lot of pressure on our midfield.'

Scotland, under the leadership of Andy Reed, the Bath lock, for the first time, are clearly intent on playing a game that will produce fast ball for the backs.

'If the Scots forwards can deliver good possession then Scotland's young backline will have a chance to show its talents,' Morgan said. 'I expect Gregor Townsend, Graham Shiel and Mike Dods to be the brains behind the scrum.'

Scotland's preparations for the opening game have been compounded by a stomach bug that has afflicted several of the players. The latest casualties have been Alan Sharp and Stuart Reid.

'I expect Sharp to be fit, though,' Fred McLeod, the manager, said. There was still some concern about Reid, though. If Reid has to drop out, his place will go to Carl Hogg, the Melrose No 8.

Anthony Clement, the Wales and Lions full-back, will be Swansea's captain next season following the decision of Stuart Davies, a fellow international, to stand down.

SCOTLAND (v Buenos Aires, today): M Dods (Gala); C Joiner (Melrose), S Nichol (Selkirk), G Shiel (Melrose), C Dalgleish (Gala); G Townsend (Gala), D Patterson (Edinburgh Academicals); A Sharp (Bristol), K McKenzie (Stirling County), S Ferguson (Peebles), J Richardson (Edinburgh Academicals), A Reed (Bath, capt), P Walton (Northampton), S Reid (Boroughmuir), I Smith (Gloucester). Replacements: R Shepherd (Edinburgh Academicals), I Jardine (Stirling County), B Redpath (Melrose), C Hogg (Melrose), A Watt (Glasgow HSFP / Kelvinside), S Brotherstone (Melrose).