Andy Robinson demands fresh faces build All Blacks pressure

 

Given Scotland's record against New Zealand, Andy Robinson might consider taking the 34-man squad he named yesterday to Medinah instead of St Andrews next week.

They would appear to be in need of a Ryder Cup-style miracle as they prepare for the challenge of facing the planet's best team at Murrayfield on 11 November.

Famously, the Scots have never managed to beat the All Blacks. They go the opening game of their autumn series with a hat-trick of wins behind them, against Australia, Fiji and Samoa, but they all came in June. Four months on, Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors have failed to pull off a victory between them in the opening two rounds of the Heineken Cup and, such are the resources at Robinson's disposal, the head coach has been forced to call up seven uncapped men – and hope that some of his more recently injured players will be fit to face the world champions.

Lock Richie Gray, stand-off Greig Laidlaw, centre Max Evans and wings Sean Lamont and Tim Visser have all been named in the squad despite being out of commission last weekend. The list of long-term injured includes centres Joe Ansbro and Graeme Morrison, scrum-half Chris Cusiter, full-back Rory Lamont and wing Nikki Walker. Hence the call to the uncapped brigade: the Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist, Edinburgh back-rower Stuart McInally and Glasgow backs Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Peter Murchie, Tommy Seymour and Henry Pyrgos.

Asked how he might instil belief in his players to take on Richie McCaw and Co a fortnight on Sunday, Robinson said: "Teams that have put New Zealand under pressure are teams that have only allowed them to score one try. That's the mentality you have to go out with.

"The other aspect is that you've got to score early against them, so you get the scoreboard in your favour. Ireland put them under pressure and only conceded one try."

That was in Christchurch in June. New Zealand needed a last-minute drop-goal by Dan Carter to sneak a 22-19 win against the Irish – who, like the Scots, have never beaten the Kiwis.

Rob Kearney, Ireland's full-back that day, will miss the autumn Tests with a back problem. The European Player of the Year faces surgery today and is expected to be out for up to 10 weeks.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food