Edinburgh Rugby winger Dougie Fife was today named as the second new cap of Scotland’s RBS Six Nations when included in the team to play Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Fife, 23, equals the achievement of Chris Fusaro, a debutant against England, having earlier this season scored in four successive league matches for Edinburgh to force his way into an extended international squad.
He joins Edinburgh colleagues Greig Laidlaw, Dave Denton, Matt Scott and Geoff Cross in the starting line-up which has some symmetry with five players from Glasgow and the remainder from clubs outwith Scotland.
On the bench, the once-capped Edinburgh utility back Jack Cuthbert will sit alongside team-mates Ross Ford and Alasdair Dickinson.
Nurtured by the Boroughmuir and Currie clubs, Fife is the first former pupil of Firrhill High School to play international rugby for Scotland. He replaces Tommy Seymour, who has not recovered sufficiently from the ankle injury sustained against France last weekend.
On the other wing, Max Evans proved his fitness at training this morning and will win his 42nd cap replacing the injured Sean Lamont.
Fife said: “I’m absolutely delighted and can’t wait. 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.”
Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson said: “We like Dougie’s size and his competitive edge. He chases everything, which I like, and he has shown really good glimpses playing for Edinburgh this season.
“He’s been earmarked 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.”
Scotland: Hogg (Glasgow, Fife (Edinburgh), Dunbar (Glasgow), Scott (Edinburgh), Evans (Castres), Weir (Glasgow), Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Grant (Glasgow), Lawson (Newcastle), Cross (Edinburgh), Gray (Castres), Hamilton (Montpellier), Wilson (Glasgow), Denton (Edinburgh), Brown (Saracens, captain). Subs: Ford, Dickinson (both Edinburgh), Murray (Worcester), Swinson (Glasgow), Strokosch (Perpignan), Cusiter (Glasgow), Taylor (Saracens), Cuthbert (Edinburgh).