Southwell in at fly-half for Scotland 'A'
November 18, 2009
Hugo Southwell starts at fly-half for Scotland 'A' © Getty Images
Stade Francais fullback Hugo Southwell will start at fly-half for Scotland 'A' as they take on Tonga at Netherdale on Friday. Scotland coach Andy Robinson will be in attendance and players will be hopeful of forcing their way in to his plans for Scotland's final November Test, against Argentina on November 28.
Southwell will partner skipper Rory Lawson at halfback in a surprise move by coach Sean Lineen. Southwell's normal position is filled by Jim Thompson, while Glasgow's Thom Evans and Ospreys' Nikki Walker start on the wings against a Tonga side that was heavily beaten by Ireland 'A' last weekend.
In the centre there is a start for full-cap Ben Cairns while Ally Hogg and Kelly Brown add plenty of experience to the back-row. Gloucester hooker Scott Lawson starts alongside Geoff Cross and Jon Welsh in the front-row, ahead of the second-row combination of Scott Macleod and Richie Gray.
"We've picked Hugo to start at stand-off because we believe he will do a good job for us there - he is a quality player with lots of experience who has been regularly operating as first receiver on attack for Stade Francais this season," said Lineen. "We believe we have picked a strong squad to face a competitive Tonga side, who will be physical and skilful.
"Andy Robinson will be attending the match at Netherdale and the players realise that this is an ideal opportunity to showcase their skills in a bid to earn selection for Scotland's Test match against Argentina at Murrayfield next Saturday."
Scotland 'A': Jim Thompson (Edinburgh); Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh), John Houston (Edinburgh), Nikki Walker (Ospreys); Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Rory Lawson (Gloucester, capt); Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Scott MacLeod (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh)
Replacements: Andrew Kelly (Edinburgh), Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Craig Hamilton (Edinburgh), Roddy Grant (Edinburgh), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Colin Gregor (Glasgow Warriors), Mark Robertson (Edinburgh)