Scots swap seven

Scotland have made seven changes to their starting line up to face England this weekend. [more]

Scots swap seven

Scotland have made seven changes to their starting line up to face England this weekend.

Squad skipper Al Kellock is among those included after he was left out of the 22 for last Sunday’s defeat to Argentina.

Lions tourists Mike Blair and Euan Murray return to the team at scrum-half and tight-head prop after the former was a replacement against the Pumas and the latter unavailable due to his religious beliefs.

Joe Ansbro, Simon Danielli and Richie Vernon are the others to win call ups, with Andy Robinson also making a positional switch as Sean Lamont moves from wing to midfield to form a new centre partnership with Ansbro.

Ulster wing Danielli fills Lamont’s spot out wide while Vernon takes over from Saracens back rower Kelly Brown who suffered concussion in Wellington.

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Jim Hamilton, Geoff Cross and Graeme Morrison join Brown in not featuring at all in the matchday squad, while Rory Lawson, who captained Scotland in the 13-12 reverse to Argentina, also misses out completely.

Nick De Luca drops out of the starting XV but claims a spot among the replacements, with fellow subs Nathan Hines and Chris Cusiter joining Blair, Murray and hooker Ross Ford in taking the Lions contingent to five.

Scotland must beat England in Auckland to have any chance of progressing to the last eight and Robinson insists his players are ready to bounce back against the Auld Enemy.

“The stage is set for what I am sure will be an occasion worthy of everything this fixture means to both countries and their supporters,” said Robinson, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003.

“The atmosphere in Wellington last weekend was exceptional but I believe at a sell-out Eden Park on Saturday it will be even better.

“What this weekend is about once again though is doing everything we can to win a Test match and qualify for the knockout matches.”

Veteran full back Chris Paterson will be hoping for a double celebration as he looks to combine his 15th World Cup appearance – a Scottish record – with a vital victory that would see Scotland continue their proud record of making the quarter-finals in all six previous World Cups.

Scotland (vs England, Auckland, Saturday, 8.30am BST)

Chris Paterson; Max Evans, Joe Ansbro, Sean Lamont, Simon Danielli, Ruaridh Jackson, Mike Blair; Alan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Richie Gray, Al Kellock (captain), Alasdair Strokosch, John Barclay, Richie Vernon

Replacements: Scott Lawson, Alasdair Dickinson, Nathan Hines, Ross Rennie, Chris Cusiter, Dan Parks, Nick De Luca

NB Bold denotes Lion

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