Robinson picks Gray for All Blacks test

Richie Gray
(Credit: Scottish Rugby Union)

Published EN4 News on 8/11/2012

Richie Gray is declared fit for Scotland duty while scrum half Harry Pyrgos could win his first cap at the weekend.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has brushed aside injury concerns surrounding giant second row Richie Gray ahead of Sunday’s clash with New Zealand at Murrayfield.

Gray and fellow lock Jim Hamilton were both doubtful before the team was announced but Robinson insists that both will be ready to play the worlds champions. He said: “I’m not going to put anyone there who cannot be at 100% in terms of their physicality and their attitude.”

Behind the scrum Edinburgh scrum half starts at stand off after missing Edinburgh’s last two games. Robinson dismissed suggestions that Laidlaw may be under-prepared for such a daunting game. He said: “Greig has been doing the contact work but I didn’t want him to play [for Edinburgh} last Friday as I felt the work we were doing as a team and the intensity that we had in training and the pressure he would be under would be ideal preparation.”

Glasgow prop Ryan Grant and Edinburgh’s Dutch born winger Tim Visser will both be making their first appearance for Scotland at Murrayfield. Meanwhile Grant’s club team-mate Henry Pyrgos is the only uncapped player in the match-day squad.

Explaining the scrum-half’s selection on the bench ahead of the vastly experienced Rory Lawson, Robinson claimed the move was done with one eye on the future. He said: “We have three scrum-halves who are 30 and above so it is about seeing young nine coming through and that is why Henry got the nod ahead of Rory.”

Kelly Brown will captain Scotland for the first time in the match on what will be his 50th cap. The Saracens number eight will be looking to do what no Scotland skipper has done in the past – lead his side to a victory over New Zealand.

Listen to Andy Robinson on his pack selection

Scotland team to play New Zealand in the EMC Test at Murrayfield on Sunday 11 November, kick-off 2.30pm

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps, 1 try, 5 points

14 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 68 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
13 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby) 35 caps, 1 try, 5 points
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 4 caps
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

10 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 10 caps, 2 tries, 8 conversions, 15 penalties, 71 points
9 Mike Blair (Brive) 83 caps, 7 tries, 35 points

1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 61 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 14 caps
4 Richie Gray (Sale Sharks) 24 caps, 1 try, 5 points
5 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester) 39 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 28 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Ross Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby) 19 caps
8 Kelly Brown (Saracens) CAPTAIN 49 caps, 4 tries, 20 points

Substitutes

16 Scott Lawson (London Irish) 34 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
17 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby) 64 caps
18 Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby) 3 caps
19 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 44 caps, 1 try, 5 points
20 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 6 caps
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
22 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps, 2 conversions, 2 penalties, 2 drop-goals, 16 points
23 Max Evans (Castres) 30 caps, 3 tries, 15 points