Six Gunners In Againt Springboks
Six Gunners are in the starting XV for Scotland's match against South Africa in Durban on Saturday. However, most of the media attention is focused on Glasgow's Donnie Macfadyen, making his return to the Scotland starting line-up after two years.
Macfadyen, who spent 15 months out of the game with a recurring knee injury, impressed Scotland coach Frank Hadden when he came on as a substitute in last week's non-cap match with the Barbarians at Murrayfield, which Scotland won 66-19. He won the last of his nine caps to date against South Africa at Murrayfield in 2004. Asked for his thoughts on his return Macfadyen said, "Its very exciting news. Playing for Scotland was one of the main motivations while I was rehabbing. I'm looking to put the injuries behind me and to show what I can do on Saturday."
Hadden added, "Donnie did well when he came on last week. He is an experienced international player and we believe he is the man for the occasion on Saturday."
Macfadyen's inclusion at openside means Gunner Ally Hogg has the chance to demonstrate his versatility by occupying the No 8 berth with team-mate Simon Taylor absent through injury. Otherwise the Scotland pack is the same which started the final victory of the RBS 6 Nations Championship - against Italy - with Scott Lawson winning the nod at hooker and Perpignan's ex-Gunner Nathan Hines partnering his old team-mate Scott Murray in the second-row. The last time Scotland played the Springboks in Durban three years ago Hines was stopped inches shy of the match-winning try.
Commenting on the competition at hooker Hadden explained, "Both hookers threw in very well last week and as ever with selection it's a case of trying to keep a blend between continuity, competition for places and experience."
Scotland field the same back division that started the Championship victories over France and England.
On the challenge ahead Hadden said, "We're very much looking forward to Saturday's match. We know Scotland have never beaten South Africa here and that the Springboks are unbeaten at home for the last two years. We also know that they represent a formidable physical challenge. We have made some progress this year and Saturday will give us a good indication of where we stand against one of the top sides in the world."
The game marks the 100th anniversary of the first contest between the countries. Scotland first played South Africa at Hampden Park in Glasgow on 17 November 1906 and won the match 6-0.
On the bench, meanwhile, Hadden will trim one player from his squad before Saturday.
Scotland team (sponsor The Famous Grouse) to play South Africa at the ABSA Stadium, Durban on Sturday 10 June (kick-off 3pm SA time (2pm BST))
15 Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh Gunners)
14 Chris Paterson (Edinburgh Gunners)
13 Marcus Di Rollo (Edinburgh Gunners)
12 Andrw Henderson (Glasgow Warriors)
11 Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints)
10 Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors)
9 Mike Blair (Edinburgh Gunners)*
1 Gavin Kerr (Leeds Tykes)
2 Scott Lawson (Glasgow Warriors)*
3 Bruce Douglas (Border Reivers)
4 Nathan Hines (Perpignan)
5 Scott Murray (Edinburgh Gunners)
6 Jason White (Sale Sharks) CAPTAIN
8 Allister Hogg (Edinburgh Gunners)*
7 Donnie Macfadyen (Glasgow Warriors)
Dougie Hall (Edinburgh Gunners)
Craig Smith (Edinburgh Gunners)
Alastair Kellock (Edinburgh Gunners)*
Jon Petrie (Glasgow Warriors)
Kelly Brown (Border Reivers)*
Sam Pinder (Glasgow Warriors)
Gordon Ross (Leeds Tykes)
Simon Webster (Edinburgh Gunners)
* = Member of Scottish Institute of Sport
Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland). Touch-judges: Joel Jutge (France) and Rob Debney (England). TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)