Robinson shakes up Scotland side

A penny for Andy Robinson's thoughts yesterday as he settled into his seat in an Edinburgh hotel to name his first international XV for three weeks short of three years. Now where was he, before being so rudely interrupted by the thumbs-down of the management board of the Rugby Football Union? Ah yes, picking an England side hamstrung by injury and a collective loss of form – an England side that not once, in his 22-match tenure as head coach, had the luxury of Jonny Wilkinson calling the shots from No 10. What might have been for the red rose Robinson regime had the stricken World Cup winner of 2003 been in the pivotal position for those fateful autumn Twickenham Tests of 2006?

What happens to be in the realms of certainty is that Robinson will be picking up the threads of his international coaching career when Fiji visit Murrayfield on Saturday. It will be his first Test since 25 November, 2006, when a 25-14 defeat against the Springboks set the seal on his time as head honcho at Twickenham. His starting XV for the occasion of his debut as Scotland's head coach has been stamped with his personal imprint.

Of the 15 Scots who lined up at Twickenham back in March for what proved to be the last stand of the Frank Hadden era, a 26-12 defeat against England, only five players have made it on to Robinson's maiden team-sheet: winger Simon Danielli, centre Graeme Morrison, stand-off Phil Godman, hooker Ross Ford and flanker Alasdair Strokosch. Injury has accounted for the absence of several others while the Stade Français No 8 Simon Taylor has removed himself from the selection equation, for the time being at least.

Nonetheless, Robinson has laid down a marker with the selection he has made from a 32-man squad. Chris Cusiter has been given the nod at scrum-half ahead of Mike Blair, who was first choice for the No 9 jersey throughout Hadden's four-year stint in charge.

There is a debut at outside centre for Alex Grove, the Worcester Warrior who qualifies for Scotland through his grandfather. There is also a first start at tighthead prop for Glasgow's Moray Low, while Rory Lamont gets the full-back jersey, ahead of Chris Paterson.

"I looked at how we're going to approach the whole 80 minutes," Robinson said, when asked about the latter call. "I'm very happy that Phil Godman is our front-line goalkicker starting the game. He had an 81 per cent success rate in the Magners League last season. Also, I'm very happy with the way Rory Lamont has been playing at full-back for Toulon. The two Lamonts [Sean, Rory's elder brother, has been picked on the right wing] are dynamic, strong, evasive runners and very powerful."

Robinson's Scotland are likely to need all of the power and dynamism they can get against a Fijian side ranked one place above them, at nine, in the International Rugby Board's global pecking order. Fiji are a well-coached, very physical team," Robinson added. "It's a very good Test match for us. It's all about delivering on game day."

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower