Canada v Scotland: Kelly Brown returns to starting line-up
Canada v Scotland: Kelly Brown returns to Vern Cotter's line-up for clash against Toronto on Saturday
Kelly Brown returns to the Scotland team against Canada in Toronto on Saturday as one of four changes from Sunday’s 24-6 win over the USA.
The Saracens flanker lines up on the openside, the position he was switched to during Scott Johnson’s reign, to partner Al Strokosch and Johnnie Beattie in the back row.
Up front, Exeter Chiefs tighthead prop Moray Low is preferred to Geoff Cross, who drops to the bench, with Glasgow Warriors loosehead Gordon Reid and Newcastle Falcons hooker Scott Lawson retaining their places.
In the second row, Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist comes in for the injured Jim Hamilton to partner Castres lock Richie Gray and will take over the lineout calling.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made just one enforced change to the backline with Glasgow Warriors centre Peter Horne flying out for his first start in place of Duncan Taylor at 12 to partner club team-mate Sean Lamont ahead of his involvement on the second half of the Scotland tour which begins next week.
The New Zealander has kept faith with a back three that yielded two of the three tries against the USA as Stuart Hogg continues at full-back with Glasgow Warriors team-mate Sean Maitland on the right wing and Edinburgh’s Tim Visser on the left.
Glasgow Warriors’ outside-half Finn Russell gets another chance to impress after an assured debut in Houston with Gloucester’s Greig Laidaw offering plenty of experience from scrum-half and he again takes the captaincy despite the return of Brown, with Cotter hoping it will help with consistency.
Canada head coach Kieran Crowley has made three changes to the team that squandered a 25-9 lead against Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup as they lost 34-25.
Cornish Pirates hooker Aaron Carpenter comes into the front row for Ray Barkwill to join props Hubert Buydens and Jason Marshall with locks Tyler Hotson and Clermont Auvergne’s Jamie Cudmore continuing in the second row.
London Irish flanker Jebb Sinclair has recovered from a leg strain to return for his first start of the year for Canada, with Adam Kleeberger dropping out of the 23, and partners Canada 7s star John Moonlight with captain and Ospreys’ versatile forward Tyler Ardron starting at number 8.
Canada 7s livewire Phil Mack is promoted from the bench to start at scrum-half alongside outside-half Harry Jones.
Former Glasgow Warriors winger Taylor Paris keeps his place on the left wing with Ospreys flanker Jeff Hassler continuing on the right wing and James Pritchard at full-back with Nick Blevins and Ciaran Hearn also continuing their partnership in midfield.
Canada: James Pritchard (Bedford Blues); Jeff Hassler (Ospreys), Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock), Nick Blevins (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack), Taylor Paris (Agen); Harry Jones (Capilanos RFC/BC Bears), Phil Mack (James Bay AA/BC Bears); Hubert Buydens (Manawatu Turbos/Prairie Wolf Pack), Aaron Carpenter (Cornish Pirates), Jason Marshall (Atlantique Stade Rochelais), Tyler Hotson (London Scottish), Jamie Cudmore (Clermont Auvergne), Jebb Sinclair (London Irish), John Moonlight (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues), Tyler Ardron (Ospreys, captain).
Replacements: Ray Barkwill (Niagara Wasps/Ontario Blues), Andrew Tiedemann (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack), Jake Ilnicki (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears), Kyle Gilmour (Saint Albert/Prairie Wolf Pack), Jon Phelan (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock), Gordon McRorie (Calgary Hornet/Prairie Wolf Packs), Connor Braid (James Bay AA/BC Bears), DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors).
Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby), Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester Rugby, captain); Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Richie Gray (Castres), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Al Strokosch (Perpignan), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Johnnie Beattie (Castres).
Replacements: Kevin Bryce (Glasgow Warriors), Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby), Geoff Cross (London Irish), Kieran Low (London Irish), Blair Cowan (London Irish); Grayson Hart (Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (London Wasps), Max Evans (Castres).
Referee: Mike Fraser (NZRU)