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Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010

Late Scotland call-up for Joe Ansbro

Scotland v South Africa EMC Autumn Test
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 20 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT
Coverage: BBC One Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website

Joe Ansbro will be the first black player to represent Scotland
Ansbro will be the first black player to represent Scotland at Test level

Uncapped Northampton centre Joe Ansbro will replace the injured Max Evans for Scotland's second autumn Test match against South Africa on Saturday.

Evans has not recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered during the 49-3 hammering from New Zealand.

Ansbro had been due to play in Friday's 'A' game with the United States.

Rory Lawson captains the Scots, taking over from the injured Mike Blair, while there are places for Scott MacLeod, Nikki Walker and Nathan Hines.

MacLeod takes the place of Jim Hamilton in the second row while Hines's inclusion at flanker means a change of position for Kelly Brown.

Brown switches to number eight and Richie Vernon drops out, as Walker comes in on the wing in place of Rory Lamont.

There are places on the bench for Dougie Hall, Moray Low and Chris Paterson, who has not featured for Scotland since suffering a kidney injury as he picked up his 100th cap against Wales in February.

Robinson praises Ansbro qualities

Ansbro, who was brought up near Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, has played in two Varsity Match wins for Cambridge over Oxford and becomes the first black player to represent Scotland.

"It's the highlight of my rugby career so far to be called up for a game of this magnitude to represent Scotland," he said.

"There's excitement, pride and a bit of nerves as well, a good mix really."

And head coach Andy Robinson is looking forward to seeing Ansbro in action as Scotland look to bounce back from the All Blacks drubbing.

"Joe is a talented footballer," said Robinson. "We have been monitoring his progress at Northampton closely and he has been getting regular game time this season.

"We took him with Scotland A to the IRB Nations Cup in Romania in 2009 and we believe he has the required qualities to perform in international rugby.


"We have to show Scotland's supporters this weekend that we are ready to face up to the intensely physical challenge that the South Africans always present.

"The players are pledged to deliver a much-improved performance this weekend and I believe they can restore pride in the Scotland jersey."

Blair suffered concussion against the All Blacks and, in the continued absence of Chris Cusiter, Lawson has been given the nod.

Lawson was thrilled to be thrust into the role of captain, having missed out against the All Blacks with a hand injury.

"It's a childhood dream and I'm really honoured to be appointed as captain," said Lawson.

"On top of that, the most important thing for me is that I come in and do my job well and lead the troops into this weekend.

"I wasn't quite ready for last week, but I'm good to go for this week.

"We're at the forefront where all the key decisions are made in the game, which is important - you get the feel for the tactics of the game and how the other guys feel around you.

"From that perspective, it's a key position, which is naturally built for leaders."

Scotland: Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Nikki Walker (Ospreys), Joe Ansbro (Northampton), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues), Rory Lawson (Gloucester) CAPTAIN; Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Scott MacLeod (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Nathan Hines (Leinster), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens).

Replacements: Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh).

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see also
Scotland 21-17 South Africa
20 Nov 10 |  Scottish
Habana out of South Africa tour
16 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
South Africa pair fail drug tests
15 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Scottish reality check - Robinson
13 Nov 10 |  Scottish
Scotland 3-49 New Zealand
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Evans to consider acting career
13 Nov 10 |  Scottish
Competition delights Scots coach
04 Nov 10 |  Scottish
Strokosch out of Scotland Tests
26 Oct 10 |  Scottish
BBC to screen autumn rugby Tests
26 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union

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