Scotland request that roof be closed at Cardiff


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The Independent Online

Scotland have announced their intention to take on Wales at their own game after requesting the Millennium Stadium roof be closed for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash.

Captain Ross Ford yesterday confirmed the visitors' plan to run at Wales while sheltered from the elements in Cardiff, with the hosts also likely to prefer dry conditions.

The desire for Sunday's contest to be played without the influence of the elements shows how Scotland's tactical game has evolved under head coach Andy Robinson, but it is a brave move against one of the world's leading exponents of expansive rugby, particularly after the profligate showing in the 13-6 loss to England.

Hooker Ford told Press Association Sport: "We believe we've got the ability there to put pressure on Wales with the way we want to play and we'd prefer it if the roof was closed.

"That guarantees us a nice dry ball to go out and play the way we want to.

"We have had victories in the worst weather conditions, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a rugby player who enjoys the wet and the cold.

"Wales are coming off a good win in Ireland, but we believe we've seen enough from how Ireland played them and that we've got the ability in our squad to go down there and win."

Robinson's selection of Greig Laidlaw at fly-half, with Duncan Weir in reserve, hastened the international retirement of Dan Parks, who was renowned for his ability to influence a match with the boot and thrived in the wet.

The onus will be on the forwards and Chris Cusiter at scrum-half to provide Laidlaw with quick, clean ball to implement Scotland's game plan.

The Edinburgh captain will be tasked with sparking a Scotland back line featuring exciting runners including the Lamont brothers, Nick De Luca, Max Evans and Lee Jones into action.

Ford said of Laidlaw: "Greig for Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup this year, everything that's been asked of him he's gone out and done it. That's the type of man he is.

"I'm sure he will carry on in the same vein down in Wales on Sunday."