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Hines starts at six as Beattie misses out

Guinness PRO12 Editor

2 Feb 2011


Leinster lock Nathan Hines will start on the blindside flank for Scotland this weekend, with Glasgow’s Johnnie Beattie missing out on a remarkable recall.

Hines switches from the second row as Ali Kellock returns to skipper Scotland alongside Glasgow clubmate Richie Gray in the boiler house.

Beattie has played just one Magners League match this season since recovering from shoulder surgery but his appearance for Scotland A against Ireland Wolfhounds last Friday had led to suggestions he may win a squad place for the Six Nations opener against France.

Head coach Andy Robinson has ignored the temptation to draft Glasgow’s Magners League Ambassador into his matchday 22, however, instead deciding to start with a back row of Hines, John Barclay and Kelly Brown.

"Johnnie's coming back from injury, he wasn't involved in the autumn internationals and he's had four games of rugby," said Robinson.

"I don't believe he's right to start, four games after a major operation.

"We've got some quality players in the back row and I felt it was right that he still played for the As.

"I've got a lot of faith in the way Nathan plays with his defensive quality, but also his ball-carrying ability.

"Added to that, we have Richie Gray in the second row, being able to give us extra height and skill at the lineout.

"The battle ground is going to be around the set-piece, around the fringes of driving mauls and at the rucks. It's vital we've got players who can go toe-to-toe with the French."

Elsewhere in a Scotland side showing three personnel changes from the November win over Samoa, Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca replaces the injured Graeme Morrison, while Max Evans takes over from Sean Lamont on the left wing.

Northampton’s Joe Ansbro will make his first Six Nations start having featured in the autumn, while Rory Lawson beats Mike Blair to the scrum-half berth in the continued absence of Chris Cusiter.

Scotland head into the Six Nations in confident mood after wins over Ireland, Argentina (twice), South Africa and Samoa in their last six internationals.

But the Scots have won just once at the Stade de France – in their Five Nations Championship-winning season of 1999 – and they take on a French side who are seen as favourites to repeat last year’s Six Nations triumph.

"It's about delivering an 80-minute performance, letting our performance do the talking," added Robinson.

"There's been a real sharp focus, it's now down to the performance on Saturday. We've got to make sure we turn up on Saturday prepared to front up and take the game to France.

"What's key for me is that we understand we're in control of what we're about, to go to France and be in control.

"Sometimes teams go to France and give control to France and allow them to dominate. We've got to take control of this game."

Scotland (vs France in Paris, Saturday, 5pm GMT)

15 Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais)
14 Nikki Walker (Ospreys)
13 Joe Ansbro (Northampton Saints)
12 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh)
11 Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors)
10 Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues)
9 Rory Lawson (Gloucester)

1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh)
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh)
3 Euan Murray (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors, captain)
6 Nathan Hines (Leinster)
7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)
8 Kelly Brown (Saracens)


16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors)
17 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors)
18 Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors)
19 Ross Rennie (Edinburgh)
20 Mike Blair (Edinburgh)
21 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors)
22 Sean Lamont (Scarlets)