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Scotland captain dropped for Calcutta Cup clash against England

| 06.02.2014

Scotland have made a huge statement by dropping captain Kelly Brown for the Calcutta Cup clash with England.

Debutant Chris Fusaro comes into the back row to win his first cap at open-side flanker for the Scots, who are 4/1 for victory at Murrayfield.

Head coach Scott Johnson claimed it was a difficult decision to drop the influential Brown but believes Fusaro’s ball winning skills can cause England plenty of problems.

“Fusaro is picked to do a certain role and we believe there’s an opportunity for him to do it,” Johnson said.

“England are powerful, they have an edge to their side and are assertive and aggressive. They will probably consider themselves unlucky last weekend but it’s not always brute force that wins these games.”

Elsewhere for Scotland, Sean Maitland has been ruled out for the tournament after limping off against Ireland. The Glasgow Warriors winger‘s injured knee means Tommy Seymour gets his chance on the wing against Stuart Lancaster’s men.

Matt Scott replaces Duncan Taylor at centre, who takes his place on the substitute’s bench as cover for the back line positions.

Lock Richie Gray, who toured Australia with the victorious British and Irish Lions last summer, was on the bench for the defeat to Ireland last weekend but loses his place in the squad to younger brother Jonny.

Hooker Scott Lawson has regained his place in the squad and takes a position on the bench ahead of Pat MacArthur.

Edinburgh scrum-half Greig Laidlaw takes the captaincy reigns from Brown to take on an England side, who are 1/6 favourites for the win in Edinburgh, looking to bounce back from defeat against France.

Scotland XV to face England: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh, capt.), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors), David Denton (Edinburgh).

Replacements: Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Max Evans (Castres).

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Oliver Yew