Robinson plans to attack the All Blacks

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The Independent Online

New Zealand may be the world's number one team, but Andy Robinson is focused on how Scotland can attack the All Blacks in Saturday's opening autumn international.

Rather than looking at how Scotland can stop the All Blacks, Robinson is eager for his side to play on the front foot and take on the tourists up front.



Robinson told Press Association Sport: "The main thing for us is that we focus on ourselves - we put New Zealand under pressure when they've got the ball and we fight like anything to get it back, but when we've got it, we've got to establish a go-forward.



"We've got to be able to get that quality ball so we are able to control possession.



"Every ruck will be challenged, so the ability to dominate the collisions and get a go-forward will certainly help us."



Robinson yesterday announced five changes to the starting XV which began Scotland's last Test - the series clinching second Test win over Argentina on June 19 - with Edinburgh scrum-half Mike Blair named captain in place of Glasgow Warriors second row Alastair Kellock, who was not considered due to a recent knee injury.



Blair was included ahead of Rory Lawson, who is named on the bench, with Euan Murray, Richie Gray, Richie Vernon and Rory Lamont also coming into the first XV, while Ruaridh Jackson could make his debut after being named on the bench.



Blair, who will be captain for the 14th time in his 65th international, has the task of leading his team out to face the Haka, knowing that no Scotland side has beaten the All Blacks in 27 attempts since 1905.



Scotland have lost 25 matches and drawn twice, each time at Murrayfield - 0-0 in 1964 and 25-25 in 1983 - but are full of confidence on the back of a four-match unbeaten run.



With winning ball at the set-piece and in the loose imperative on Saturday, the second row and back row will be crucial.



Robinson is excited about the prospects of 21-year-old second row Gray, who stands at 6ft 8in and 19st 9lbs, and number eight Vernon, 23.



"Richie Vernon has been playing well for Glasgow and I've been following him for a couple of years," added Robinson.



"He has pace and I think that's a key quality in the back row.



"Richie Gray comes into the second row and I think he's been outstanding for Glasgow all season.



"If he can just bring that form for us on to the international stage, he's going to be an international player for a long, long time."

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