Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Posted: 04/Nov/08

Scotland have made seven changes from the team that started their last outing - the second Test victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires in the summer  for Saturday's Murrayfield meeting with New Zealand.
Experience returns to the pack in the shape of British Lions Jason White and Simon Taylor, while another member of the 50+ cap club Nathan Hines is also recalled alongside Jim Hamilton in the second-row.
In the backs Sean Lamont has recovered from the knee injury that ruled him out of last seasons RBS 6 Nations Championship and there are call-ups for Nick De Luca and Thom Evans, the last named making his first start at Murrayfield.

On the bench Scotland are looking to give Rory Lawson time to recover from his rib injury sustained on club duty ten days ago. Lawson completed the practice yesterday. Should he have to withdraw he will be replaced by the uncapped Glasgow Warriors scrum-half, Mark McMillan.
More than 47,000 tickets have now been sold for Saturdays Test and Scotland coach Frank Hadden today urged supporters to ensure they buy their tickets now and help to create a pulsating atmosphere at the stadium.
He added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us and the players are really fired up for the challenge. We have a very clear picture of what were facing on Saturday and were relishing the challenge."

Tickets are available 24 hours a day between now and 12 midnight Friday, via the Scottish Rugby website ( or our credit card hotline 0131 346 5100. You can also buy in person at the Scottish Rugby Ticket Centre, Roseburn Terrace, Edinburgh. The Ticket Centre is open from 9am-8pm, Monday to Friday.

Please note a booking fee applies to all transactions and that there are no sales on match day.Tickets cost £20, £30 and £50 for adults and £10, £15 and £25 for under-18s.

Scotland team (sponsor Murray) to play New Zealand in the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test at Murrayfield on Saturday 8 November (kick-off 5.15pm)

15 Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)-- 14 Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors) -- 13 Ben Cairns (Edinburgh) -- 12 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh) -- 11 Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints)
10 Phil Godman (Edinburgh) -- 9 Mike Blair (Edinburgh) CAPTAIN
1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh) -- 2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh) -- 3 Euan Murray (Northampton Saints) -- 4 Nathan Hines (Perpignan) -- 5 Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh) -- 6 Jason White (Sale Sharks) -- 8 Simon Taylor (Stade Francais) -- 7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)

16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors) -- 17 Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester) -- 18 Matt Mustchin (Edinburgh) -- 19 Scott Gray (Northampton) -- 20 Rory Lawson (Gloucester) or Mark McMillan (Glasgow Warriors) -- 21 Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors) --22 Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh)

All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu will captain the All Blacks for the first time while three players will make their Test debuts, with All Blacks coach Graham Henry and his assistant coaches Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen today naming their team to play Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, on Saturday November 8.

The team is:
1. Jamie Mackintosh -- 2. Keven Mealamu (captain) -- 3. John Afoa -- 4. Anthony Boric --5. Ali Williams -- 6. Kieran Read -- 7. Adam Thomson -- 8. Liam Messam -- 9. Piri Weepu -- 10. Stephen Donald -- 11. Josevata Rokocoko -- 12. Ma'a Nonu --13. Richard Kahui -- 14. Anthony Tuitavake -- 15. Isaia Toeava
16. Corey Flynn -- 17. Neemia Tialata -- 18. Ross Filipo -- 19. Richie McCaw -- 20. Andy Ellis --21. Dan Carter -- 22. Cory Jane

Southland prop Jamie Mackintosh, Waikato's Liam Messam and Canterbury loose forward Kieran Read will all make their All Blacks Test debuts, becoming All Black numbers 1081, 1082 and 1083 respectively. All three players captained their provincial teams in this year's Air New Zealand Cup.

29-year-old Mealamu, who will play his 62nd Test this weekend, will become the 63rd All Blacks Test captain and the fourth player of Samoan heritage to captain the All Blacks in a Test, following in the footsteps of former team mates Tana Umaga and Jerry Collins and current team mate Rodney So'oialo.

Keven is one of the key players in the All Blacks and a strong leader and we congratulate him on reaching this significant milestone, All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said.Henry said with the All Blacks playing five Tests on consecutive weekends, as well as the match against Munster, the coaches had to strike the right balance when it came to selections for each Test match.

This is a strong team with a mix of experienced players and new faces and we have picked the best team to win this Test match, he said. We will not be taking the Scottish team lightly. They will be playing with passion and determination in front of a vocal Murrayfield so we are expecting a physical encounter, Henry added.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England). Touch-judges: Dave Pearson (England) and Paul Dix (England). TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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