reports from Edinburgh
Spare a thought for the likes of Kenny Milne, who retired from international rugby after the World Cup, when Scotland usher in the new professional era against Western Samoa at Murrayfield this afternoon.
For although the hooker cannot put a price on memories and experiences gained from representing Scotland 40 times over six years the actual remuneration for "promoting the game" was limited by any standards.
It would certainly strike Milne as ironic that three new caps and Hugh Gilmour, a clubmate who is sitting on the bench for the first time, will be well on the way to matching his career earnings by no-side.
To the chagrin of the Scottish Rugby Union, the international squad have not yet signed the contract they have been proffered which theoretically means they risk forfeiting the pounds 2,000 which is being quoted for this afternoon's work.
Eyebrows were raised yesterday by the confirmation that Graham Ellis, who was to have been Scotland's stand-by hooker until injured at the first training session after the team officially assembled on Wednesday night, would not be getting a penny.
Jim Telfer, director of coaching and the man effectively calling the shots at Scotland's final training session, dismissed all talk of lucre. "Contracts haven't been discussed this weekend. They'll be playing for the jersey and for the honour of playing for Scotland."
There are seven changes from the Scotland team which went down 48-30 to New Zealand last time out and two particularly conspicuous omissions. For the first time since 1985, neither Hastings brother will be playing in a Murrayfield international.
The last two seasons have opened with resounding defeats for Scotland at the hands of New Zealand (51-15) and South Africa (34-10) and it would be a major disappointment if a promising looking side to be led for the first time by Rob Wainwright did not come through by a comfortable margin against opponents ravaged by defections to Rugby League since the World Cup.
SCOTLAND: R Shepherd (Melrose); M Dods, G Townsend (Northampton), G Shiel (Melrose), K Logan (Stirling County); C Chalmers, B Redpath (Melrose); D Hilton (Bath), J Hay (Hawick), P Burnell (London Scottish), D Cronin (Bourges), G Weir (Melrose), R Wainwright (West Hartlepool, capt), S Reid (Boroughmuir), I Smith (Gloucester). Replacements: H Gilmour (Heriot's FP), I Jardine (Stirling County), G Armstrong (Jed-Forest), S Campbell (Dundee HSFP), J Manson (Stirling County), S Brotherstone (Melrose).
WESTERN SAMOA: V Patu (Vaiala); B Lima (Ponsonby), T Vaega, G Leuapepe (Te Atatu), A Telea (Petone); D Kellett (Ponsonby), J Filemu (Wellington); M Mika (Otago), T Leiasamaivao (Wellington), P Fatialofa (Counties), L Falaniko (Marist), P Leavasa (Apia), S Kaleta (Ponsonby), P Lam (capt), S Vaifale (Marist). Replacements: M Vaea, C Burnes, S Leaega, S Smith, G Latu, B Reidy.
Referee: T Henning (South Africa).Reuse content