Scots ready for Ireland

Gloucester's Rory Lawson will lead Scotland in Saturday's World Cup warm-up match against Ireland at Murrayfield. [more]

Scots ready for Ireland

Gloucester’s Rory Lawson will lead Scotland in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match against Ireland at Murrayfield.

Elsewhere Ross Rennie makes his first international start and forms a powerful backrow with Alasdair Strokosch and Johnnie Beattie.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has also selected a new-look midfield partnership with Joe Ansbro combining with the returning Graeme Robinson.

There is just one former Lion in the Scottish starting line-up, Ross Ford who was a tourist in 2009.

"In any international match there is always a huge amount at stake, but these Tests take on extra significance this year as we hone our preparations for the start of the world's third biggest sporting event," said Robinson.

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"I'm a firm believer that competition brings the best out in players and I've said to the squad that it lies in their hands to make the case for their inclusion in the final 30 for New Zealand."

Robinson insists that despite its billing there will be nothing friendly about the clash with Ireland. The match will not be taken lightly as both teams kick-start their World Cup preparations.

Scotland face Italy in their final pre-World Cup friendly on August 20, before flying to New Zealand.

'We see them as full on test matches," added Robinson. "There's an opportunity for the 22 selected to put markers down.

"These games are all about partnerships and we're looking for that partnership between Morrison and Ansbro to develop.

"Rory did really well for us in the summer as captain. We've got a very strong leadership group and it's getting the mix right. Ross Ford will lead the pack."

Scotland team to face Ireland on Saturday:

*Bold denotes a former British & Irish Lions

Scotland: C Paterson; N Walker, J Ansbro, G Morrison , S Lamont; R Jackson, R Lawson; A Jacobsen, R Ford , G Cross, J Hamilton, R Gray, A Strokosch, J Beattie, R Rennie.

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