Six Nations 2014: Scotland to hand Dougie Fife debut against Wales
Six Nations 2014: Edinburgh wing Dougie Fife is set to make his Scotland debut against Wales on Saturday
Scotland will hand a debut to Edinburgh wing Dougie Fife in their final Six Nations match with Wales on Saturday.
The 23-year-old comes in for the injured Tommy Seymour on the right wing with Castres wing Max Evans ruled fit enough to win his 42nd cap at the Millennium Stadium on the left wing after coming through a training session this morning.
He’s been ear-marked by us for a while—we’ve been following him for the last 12 months—and he’s got his reward now
Scotland head coach Scott Johnson had already lost Glasgow duo Sean Maitland and Sean Lamont to injury in this year’s championship and delayed his backs selection by a further 24 hours as he considered his options which included Glasgow’s Lee Jones and Edinburgh’s Jack Cuthbert.
“We like Dougie’s size and his competitive edge,” Johnson told scottishrugby.org.uk. “He chases everything, which I like, and he has shown really good glimpses playing for Edinburgh this season.
“He’s been ear-marked by us for a while—we’ve been following him for the last 12 months—and he’s got his reward now. If he gets this one right, you might find that he puts a bit of pressure on (for a place) going forward, which is really good.
“I don’t really think Saturday will faze Dougie. He’s one of those players where it doesn’t seem to matter who he marks he just goes out and plays the same.”
Fife, who came through the ranks at Boroughmuir and Currie, has visited the Millennium Stadium before with the Scotland U20 team.
“I’m absolutely delighted and can’t wait,” Fife added. “The Millennium Stadium with the roof closed – I don’t think it could be much better to be honest.
“When I got a run of games with Edinburgh and started doing fairly well I felt I could be on the brink [of a Scotland call] if I stuck in. Luckily I’ve been patient and my time has come.”
Alex Dunbar—who scored two tries against Italy—and Matt Scott continue their partnership at centre with Stuart Hogg continuing at full-back.
Cuthbert, who made his debut off the bench against Ireland in 2011 at Murrayfield, provides cover across the back three on the bench, with Saracens centre Duncan Taylor and Glasgow scrum-half Chris Cusiter also confirmed as replacements.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Castres); Duncan Weir (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh); Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Castres), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow), Kelly Brown (Saracens, captain), David Denton (Edinburgh).
Replacements: Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors, Tim Swinson (Glasgow), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Jack Cuthbert (Edinburgh).