Scotland team to play USA


Scotland coach Vern Cotter has named three debutants in his first selection for this Saturday’s Test match against USA in Houston, Texas.

Glasgow Warriors prop Gordon Reid and fly-half Finn Russell, and London Irish back-row Blair Cowan, will start their first international game at the BBVA Compass Stadium, while prop Alex Allan and scrum-half Grayson Hart could win their first caps from the bench.

Reid, an unused replacement in the 2012 Autumn Test match against Tonga, will keep experienced company in the forwards, starting alongside Scott Lawson and Geoff Cross, and familiar duo in the engine room in Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton.

Cowan is joined in the back-row by Alasdair Strokosch and Johnnie Beattie, the latter starting his first match since injuring his ankle in the Six Nations match against France.

In the backs, 21 year-old Russell will be accompanied by scrum-half and captain Greig Laidlaw, who will share the responsibility of orchestrating a physical midfield partnership of Duncan Taylor and Sean Lamont, and a dynamic back-three of Tim Visser, Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg.

Cotter said: “There’s a lot of excitement of excitement within the team leading into this Test. There are players who are going to earn their first cap for Scotland, and there are those who see this as a chance to stake a claim for the Rugby World Cup squad in 2015.

“There are only a certain number of opportunities remaining for players to express and prove themselves.”

Scotland team to face USA:

15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
14. Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors)
13. Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors)
12. Duncan Taylor (Saracens)
11. Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)
10. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors)
9. Greig Laidlaw (C) (Gloucester Rugby)

1. Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors)
2. Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons)
3. Geoff Cross (London Irish)
4. Richie Gray (Castres Olympique)
5. Jim Hamilton (Saracens)
6. Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan)
7. Blair Cowan (London Irish)
8. Johnnie Beattie (Castres Olympique)

16. Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors)
18. Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby)
20. Kieran Low (London Irish)
21. Grayson Hart (Edinburgh Rugby)
22. Ruaridh Jackson (London Wasps)
23. Max Evans (Castres Olympique)

Kick off: 7.30pm Local Time, 1.30am BST
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images