Andy Robinson selects uncapped Lee Jones for Scotland

 

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The Independent Online

Edinburgh wing Lee Jones is to make his Scotland debut in the RBS 6 Nations opener with England at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has made eight changes from the team which began Scotland's most recent Test, the 16-12 Rugby World Cup loss to England in Auckland last October.

The uncapped Jones is joined in being promoted to the starting line-up by lock Jim Hamilton, flanker Ross Rennie, number eight David Denton, scrum-half Chris Cusiter, fly-half Dan Parks, centre Nick De Luca and full-back Rory Lamont.

Jones and Edinburgh team-mate Denton are the only members of the starting XV who did not travel to the World Cup in New Zealand.

Hooker Ross Ford is to captain the side, with Allan Jacobsen at loosehead prop and Euan Murray at tighthead.

World Cup skipper Alastair Kellock has been replaced in the second row by Hamilton, who will partner Richie Gray.

Alasdair Strokosch is retained at blindside flanker, with Rennie taking the place of John Barclay at openside and Denton, who has one cap, succeeding Richie Vernon at number eight.

Cusiter and Parks replace Mike Blair and Ruaridh Jackson, who is out injured, at half-back, with a centre combination of Sean Lamont and De Luca, who replaces the injured Joe Ansbro.

Max Evans is to line up on the wing, with Jones on the other flank in place of Simon Danielli.

Rory Lamont takes the place of Chris Paterson, who retired last month following 109 caps.

The bench is comprised of hooker Scott Lawson, prop Geoff Cross, Kellock, Barclay, Blair, half-back Greig Laidlaw and centre Graeme Morrison.

Robinson has been impressed with the form of 23-year-old Jones.

The head coach said: "I've been pleased with the consistency Lee Jones has shown and he fully deserves to win his first cap.

"Form has played a part in selection. Edinburgh's qualification for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and Glasgow's performances in the RaboDirect PRO12 mean that competition for places has intensified, particularly in the back row.

"But, as ever, we select to win an international rugby match.

"It is not by accident that these games are referred to as Test matches - because that is what they are, the ultimate in physical and mental challenge and that is certainly always on the menu when England are our opponents.

"We have experienced players in our team and they must make that knowledge count by helping the team to a successful start on Saturday."

Scotland have not been beaten by England at Murrayfield since 2004.

England, the defending Six Nations champions, have lost two and drawn one on their last three visits to Edinburgh.

PA

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