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Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Scotland call for Evans brothers

Date: Saturday, 14 February Kick-off: 1500 GMT Venue: Stade de France
Coverage: Live on BBC ONE, full commentary on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Five Live and the BBC Sport website

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Interview: Scotland pair Max and Thom Evans

Brothers Thom and Max Evans will play together for Scotland for the first time after being named in the side to face France on Saturday.

Winger Thom was not included in the match-day 22 for the loss to Wales but replaces the injured Simon Webster.

Ben Cairns has made way for Max at centre, while Alasdair Strokosch takes over from Ally Hogg in the back row.

Alasdair Dickinson steps in for prop Geoff Cross and Simon Danielli replaces winger Sean Lamont in the starting XV.

Webster and prop Cross both had to be withdrawn due to concussion in the defeat to Wales at Murrayfield and neither man will be risked in Paris.

Interview: Scotland head coach Frank Hadden

Scotland's all-time record points scorer Chris Paterson came on for Webster at the weekend but has been named among the replacements again.

With Nathan Hines sidelined by a knee injury, Jason White will continue at lock along with Jim Hamilton.

The experienced Hines required exploratory surgery on Tuesday and could miss the entire Six Nations campaign, while medical staff are hopeful prop Euan Murray, who also missed out against the Welsh, can recover from a rib injury in time to face Italy on 28 February.

Scotland head coach Frank Hadden said he was looking for a much-improved performance from his players.

Scotland head coach Frank Hadden
We're happy with the changes we've made and we think we've got the right team

Scotland head coach Frank Hadden

"We all know that the supporters demand and deserve better than the performance against Wales and they are determined to do that against France," he said.

"I'm happy with the quality of the side who are very aware of the need to perform better given the tough challenge that's facing us on Saturday."

The Evans brothers are the 45th set of brothers to win Scotland caps and will become the 20th set to play together when they take to the field at the Stade de France.

Thom was a surprise omission last weekend, following his impressive form for Glasgow Warriors which has seen him rack up nine tries in 14 matches for his club side.

And elder brother Max came off the bench to score Scotland's only try against Wales.

Hadden said he was confident the Evans brothers would make an impact against the French at the Stade de France.

"Max came off the bench and did exactly what you'd want from somebody to make an impact in the late stages of a game, " said Hadden. "He thoroughly deserves the opportunity to start this week.

"Thom can feel a bit disappointed that he was left out the week before. But that was partly because of the way we wanted to play against Wales. He's got a chance to play alongside his brother and we think that's going to be a very important combination."

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Hadden said he was not surprised at the level of criticism over his team selection following the defeat by Wales.

"In my first couple of years as Scotland head coach there was very little discussion about it," he said. "The team kind of picked itself, whereas now we've got competition for places.

"We're happy with the changes we've made. We think we've got the right team and structure in place for the very tough game that lies ahead."

On the bench, Moray Low, the 24-year-old Glasgow prop, is included in a Scotland 22 for the first time, while Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca is also called up.

However, with Low taking ill on Wednesday evening, Ed Kalman has been taken to Paris to provide cover.

There is still no specialist second row among the replacements but Glasgow lock Alastair Kellock will travel with the squad as back-up, as will his club-mate, fly-half Dan Parks.


Scotland: Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh); Simon Danielli (Ulster), Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors); Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh, capt); Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Jason White (Sale Sharks), Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Simon Taylor (Stade Francais), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)
Replacements: Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh).



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see also
Hines may miss all of Six Nations
12 Feb 09 |  Scottish
France lose Fritz to suspension
11 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Former players doubt Scotland XV
08 Feb 09 |  Scottish
Hadden stunned by sluggish Scots
08 Feb 09 |  Scottish
Scotland 13-26 Wales
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 30-21 France
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union


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