Scotland captain Kelly Brown has been dropped for their upcoming Six Nations clash with England at Murrayfield, with Brown not even making the replacements bench for the Calcutta Cup match that sees the Scots as heavy underdogs with Betfair.
Scrum-half Greig Laidlaw will instead lead the team out as captain, the third occasion he has skippered the side. Head coach Scott Johnson has made three changes to his starting line-up following Scotland’s comprehensive 28-6 defeat to Ireland in their opening game in Dublin.
As well as handing Chris Fursaro his first cap, Johnson has called up the flanker’s Glasgow team-mate Tommy Seymour to replace the injured Sean Maitland on the wing for a game in which the English are expected to win, according to the Betfair odds
The third change sees Matt Scott named at inside centre with Duncan Taylor dropping to the bench, with veteran hooker Scott Lawson named ahead of Pat McArthur as replacement hooker. British and Irish Lions lock Richie Gray loses out on a place on to the bench to younger brother Jonny.
While Johnson admitted it was a tough decision to drop Brown from the squad, the Scotland boss made it clear Fusaro’s skills as a ball-winner on the floor had been key in the selectors’ making the call for the second game of the tournament, and a game in which the Scots have been written off by many Betfair visitors.
“England are powerful, they have an edge to their side and are assertive and aggressive. They will probably consider themselves unlucky last weekend but it’s not always brute force that wins these games,” said coach Johnson.
Scotland Team: Hogg, Seymour, Dunbar, Scott, Lamont, Weir, Laidlaw (c); Grant, Ford, Low, Swinson, Hamilton, Wilson, Fusaro, Denton.
Replacements: Lawson, Dickinson, Cross, J Gray, Beattie, Cusiter, Taylor, Evans.