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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Gray replaces Barclay for Scots

Scotland flanker Scott Gray
Gray will make just his second Scotland start at Twickenham

Head coach Frank Hadden has made one change to his starting line-up for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash against England at Twickenham.

Scott Gray, who scored a try against Italy earlier in the Six Nations, replaces John Barclay at flanker.

Captain Mike Blair has overcome a back problem to take his place at scrum-half while Alasdair Strokosch and Thom Evans have also been passed fit.

Scotland are looking for their first win at Twickenham since 1983.

Kelly Brown is named on the bench as cover for 31-year-old Gray. Brown's Glasgow Warriors team-mate Barclay drops out of the squad altogether.

Northampton's Gray made his debut against Australia in 2004 but has since been restricted to six appearances from the bench, the most recent in the 26-6 win over Italy last month when he scored his first international try.

Let's be honest, when Scotland go into rugby matches, they tend to be the underdog and that's a position that we enjoy

Frank Hadden

"Scott has been champing at the bit," Hadden told BBC Scotland.

"He's trained extremely well, he's played very well when he's come off the bench for us and he deserves this opportunity."

Hadden delayed naming his line-up in order to give Blair, Strokosch and Evans the chance to prove their fitness following last week's defeat to Ireland at Murrayfield.

"Last Sunday, we didn't think Mike Blair would make it but obviously the quality of physio and medical treatment that we've got is fantastic and they've done a great job," Hadden added.

Victory over the Italians remains Scotland's sole win in the tournament so far while the English are targeting their third triumph.

"We've made some progress," Hadden said. "We'd obviously have liked to have started off with more of a bang than we did against Wales but since then we've made some progress.

"We see the Ireland and France games as two that got away. We had genuine opportunities to win both of these and we're disappointed and frustrated that we didn't do so but here's another opportunity for us to make a real splash in the Six Nations.

"When we were in Paris, we made a number of errors that we perhaps knew we were going to make because of the way we had to play to win the match. We came close to winning that match, playing a very adventurous style of rugby.


"Last weekend, we didn't make nearly as many errors but the few errors that we did make, Ireland are extremely good at punishing.

"So obviously we made too many as far as that was concerned but we also did a lot of good things last weekend, which got ourselves into the game and made it extremely difficult for a top quality Ireland side."

And despite, the Scots' recent record at Twickenham, Hadden is confident of winning on Satuday.

"Of course it's difficult going down to England but we relish that kind of challenge," he added.

"Let's be honest, when Scotland go into rugby matches, they tend to be the underdog and that's a position that we enjoy.

"We don't tend to reflect and look back at percentages or number of games won. All we've done in this week is prepare to win this match.

"Obviously, you refer to how effective England are in certain areas and we know very clearly what we need to do to counter these areas but all the talk this week is really about finishing with a flourish in this year's Six Nations."

Scotland team to face England at Twickenham:

C Paterson (Edinburgh); S Danielli (Ulster), M Evans (Glasgow), G Morrison (Glasgow), T Evans (Glasgow); P Godman (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh, capt); A Dickinson (Gloucester), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), J White (Sale), J Hamilton (Edinburgh), A Strokosch (Gloucester), S Gray (Northampton), S Taylor (Stade Francais).
Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow), M Low (Glasgow), N Hines (Perpignan), K Brown (Glasgow), C Cusiter (Perpignan), N De Luca (Edinburgh), H Southwell (Edinburgh).

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see also
England unchanged for Scots visit
18 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Hadden to discover fate in April
18 Mar 09 |  Scottish
Borthwick set on Scotland revenge
18 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
England 34-10 France
15 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Hadden rues a wasted opportunity
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Pundits' verdict on Scotland v Ireland
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 15-22 Ireland
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 26-6 Italy
28 Feb 09 |  Scottish
France 22-13 Scotland
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 13-26 Wales
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union

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