Injured lock Richie Gray named in Scotland team to face New Zealand

 

Lock Richie Gray has been named in the Scotland team for Sunday's EMC Autumn Test with New Zealand, subject to undergoing a fitness test on his ankle.

Head coach Andy Robinson has named a side showing five changes from the XV which began Scotland's last Test, the June 23 win in Samoa.

Gray is partnered in the second row by Jim Hamilton, who was banned for the summer tour for an indiscretion while playing for Gloucester, with Kelly Brown returning from injury to win his 50th cap and first as captain.

Centre Nick De Luca and scrum-half Mike Blair replace injured duo Joe Ansbro and Chris Cusiter, respectively, while Geoff Cross starts at tighthead prop in place of Euan Murray, who is not available as the All Blacks clash falls on a Sunday.

Brown replaces Richie Vernon, who was not selected in the initial squad.

Holland-born Edinburgh wing Tim Visser will make his first Scotland appearance at Murrayfield, having qualified on residency grounds in June before scoring two tries on his debut in Fiji.

Visser is joined in the back three by Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont.

De Luca's partner in the centre is Matt Scott, who will also make his home debut.

Blair, who moved to France from Edinburgh in the summer, teams-up at half-back with Greig Laidlaw, the Edinburgh captain.

Glasgow Warriors prop Ryan Grant made his first three appearances in the summer wins in Australia, Fiji and Samoa and takes a 100 per cent international record into the clash with the world champions.

Ross Ford, who was captain for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations and the summer tour, completes the front-row, starting at hooker.

The only uncapped player in the matchday 23 is Glasgow Warriors' Henry Pyrgos, who provides cover for Blair from the substitutes' bench.

Robinson knows his side must improve on their June displays to have any hope of beating the All Blacks for the first time.

Robinson said: "For our first game of the season we will really need to start well and keep the game simple.

"New Zealand are the world champions and they perform the basic skills, well, under the highest pressure.

"We need to step up from the summer tour and be ready to go toe to toe in a physical contest, just as Australia did most recently against New Zealand in Brisbane.

"Congratulations to Kelly Brown who will captain Scotland for the first time and will join distinguished company in winning his 50th cap."

The match is a near 67,144 sell-out, with further Tests against South Africa and Tonga, in Aberdeen, to come this month.

Scotland team to play New Zealand in the EMC Autumn Test at Murrayfield, Edinburgh on Sunday, November 11 (kick-off 1430):

S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); S Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), N De Luca (Edinburgh), M Scott (Edinburgh), T Visser (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), M Blair (Brive); R Grant (Glasgow Warriors), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Sale Sharks), J Hamilton (Gloucester), A Strokosch (Perpignan), R Rennie (Edinburgh), K Brown (captain, Saracens).

Substitutes: S Lawson (London Irish), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), K Traynor (Bristol), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), D Denton (Edinburgh), H Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), M Evans (Castres).

PA

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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf