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Blair to captain Scotland against All Blacks

Updated: Tuesday, 09 Nov 2010 19:11

Mike Blair will captain Scotland against the All Blacks
Mike Blair will captain Scotland against the All Blacks

Rejuvenated scrumhalf Mike Blair will captain Scotland against New Zealand in their opening November international on Saturday.

Blair, whose last test start came against England in March 2009, replaces Rory Lawson in the starting lineup in five changes announced by coach Andy Robinson from the team who beat Argentina 13-9 in June.

The Edinburgh player suffered a dip in form last year and lost his place in the side to Chris Cusiter, who is nursing an injured knee and then to Lawson who is out with a broken hand.

Scotland are unbeaten in their last four tests and come into the game on the back of an impressive series victory over Argentina.

‘It is imperative that we front up from the first whistle against the All Blacks on Saturday,’ Robinson said.

‘We have shown our appetite to drive forward our game and our aim is to improve on our best performances last season, which we know inspired the country.’

Glasgow's Richie Gray comes into the second row for his first start in place of the injured Alastair Kellock, while Rory Lamont, prop Euan Murray and number eight Richie Vernon were also named in the team.

The All Blacks, who are attempting a third grand slam in five years, defeated England 26-16 at Twickenham last Saturday.

Scotland team to play New Zealand at Murrayfield on Saturday, November 13, kick-off 5.15pm:
15 H Southwell (Stade Francais)
14 R Lamont (Toulon)
13 M Evans (Glasgow Warriors)
12 G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors)
11 S Lamont (Scarlets)
10 D Parks (Cardiff Blues)
9 M Blair (Edinburgh)
1 A Jacobsen (Edinburgh)
2 R Ford (Edinburgh)
3 E Murray (Northampton)
4 R Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
5 J Hamilton (Gloucester)
6 K Brown (Saracens)
7 R Vernon (Glasgow Warriors)
8 J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements:
S Lawson (Gloucester), A Dickinson (Gloucester), N Hines (Leinster), R Rennie (Edinburgh), R Lawson (Gloucester), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), N Walker (Ospreys).