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Rugby | Springboks

Euan Murray © Action Images

Scots recall Murray for Bok clash



Tighthead prop Euan Murray has been recalled as one of two changes in the Scotland side to play South Africa in the one-off international at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Murray, who missed Sunday's 51-22 defeat by world champions New Zealand for religious reasons, replaced Geoff Cross, who scored his first test try against the All Blacks, in the XV announced Wednesday by Scotland coach Andy Robinson.

Front-row forward Murray, currently on loan at French club Agen from English side Newcastle, impressed during Scotland's successful southern hemisphere tour which saw them beat Australia, Fiji and Samoa in June.

"I was pleased with Euan's contribution both at scrummage and in open play during the summer tour, while David Denton's aggressive carrying is something that really gets the crowd going," said former England back-row forward and head coach Robinson.

The other change was injury-enforced with David Denton, who on Sunday came off the bench for Ross Rennie (dislocated shoulder), starting at No 8 and with Scotland captain Kelly Brown moving across to openside flanker.

Last weekend Scotland, although well beaten in the end, became the first side to score three tries in a test against the All Blacks this year.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who announced his team earlier Wednesday, also made two changes.

Gurthro Steenkamp replaced CJ van der Linde at loosehead prop after the latter took over as a late stand-in for Tendai Mtawarira, who has since returned home following the heart problems that saw him miss the 16-12 win over Ireland in Dublin last weekend.

In the backs, Juan de Jongh replaced Jaco Taute at outside centre.

Scotland beat South Africa the last time they met the Springboks, winning 21-17 at Murrayfield two years ago.

Now Scotland need another win if they are to have a chance of finishing in the top eight of the International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings and so enjoy a favourable seeding when the draw for the 2015 World Cup takes place in London on December 3.

"We know we're in for a bruising battle against South Africa this weekend and we will be primed for that physical confrontation," said Robinson.

"But we also have to be smart in how we approach this game and do our utmost to ensure we get on the front foot and get the result that will move us into the top eight in the IRB world rankings ahead of next month's World Cup draw."

SCOTLAND: Stuart Hogg; Sean Lamont, Nick de Luca, Matt Scott, Tim Visser; Greig Laidlaw, Mike Blair; David Denton, Kelly Brown (capt), Alasdair Strokosch; Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray; Euan Murray, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant

Replacements: Dougie Hall, Kyle Traynor, Geoff Cross, Alastair Kellock, John Barclay, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson, Peter Murchie

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