Euan MURRAY will seek to impose himself in Wednesday’s World Cup Pool B clash with Georgia and leave a lasting impression.
The 31-year-old Newcastle Falcons prop was today selected in a Scotland XV showing 11 changes from the opening 34-24 win over Romania for the Scots’ second fixture of the tournament at Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill.
Murray will miss Scotland’s following game – the September 25 clash with Argentina – due to his religious beliefs as the fixture falls on a Sunday and must make the most of his one opportunity if he is to reclaim his place against England on October 1.
Murray, though, maintained the context is no different to any other international player or match.
He said: “I know that I have to play well, but every time you pull on the Scotland jersey you have to play well.
“The players all know they’ve got to put in a massive shift because they’ve got to impress.
“You get the basics right as a tighthead. You focus on the set-piece, rucking and then you look for opportunities to make big tackles and get the ball in your hands.”
Scotland stuttered to victory over Romania, particularly in the pack, but head coach Andy Robinson insisted the scale of the changes was due to the proximity of the matches and not a reaction to Saturday’s match.
Like Romania, Georgia are likely to aim to take the initiative up front at the set-piece and at the breakdown.
Murray will be key in Scotland establishing forward momentum at the scrum and he is pleased with the selected pack.
The British Lion, who is set to win his 40th cap on Wednesday, added: “The tighthead’s very important – if a tighthead gets beaten then it puts the rest of the scrum under pressure.
“But the tighthead can do nothing without the support of the rest of the pack and he performs at his best when the rest of the pack is performing at their best.
“It’s a big role, but there’s a good pack here.
“It’s great to have big Jim Hamilton behind me. He loves to scrummage and he can scrum until the cows come home.”
Meanwhile, England lock Courtney Lawes has been cited for allegedly striking Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma with his knee, Rugby World Cup Ltd have announced.
Lawes will have to appear before a disciplinary hearing in Auckland, to be chaired by independent judicial officer Terry Willis, from Australia.
The time and date of the hearing will be confirmed later today.
Lawes was cited by match disciplinary commissioner Murray Whyte for his challenge on Ledesma near the end of the first half.