Head coach Andy Robinson has entrusted Ruaridh Jackson with the crucial fly-half role for Scotland’s vital World Cup Pool B clash with Argentina in Wellington on Sunday.
Jackson was today included as one of five changes to the team which beat Georgia 15-6, with scrum-half Rory Lawson retained as captain and tournament skipper Alastair Kellock left out of the matchday 22 altogether.
Scotland are seeking a sixth successive win on Sunday, a feat not achieved since the 1989-90 Grand Slam-winning season.
Jackson has assumed the playmaker role from Dan Parks, with Robinson believing the running rugby on show in the narrow loss to England in March and the win over Italy in August proved the 23-year-old is up to the task of steering Scotland into the knockout stages. Robinson said: “We found the first two games hard. We’re going to find this one even harder so it’s important we’re able to take the game to Argentina.
“What we want is to really play with the ball in hand. Who is our best passing 10?
“I think that is Ruaridh. Ruaridh has very good ability to challenge the line and go to defences. We want to bring our dangerous runners – Max Evans, Sean Lamont, Chris Paterson, Graeme Morrison – into the game. Now, that’s our plan. When it comes to the pressure of the game, we’ve got to be able to execute it.”
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); M Evans (Castres), N De Luca (Edinburgh), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets); R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), R Lawson (capt, Gloucester); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), J Hamilton (Gloucester), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), K Brown (Saracens). Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow Warriors), A Dickinson (Sale Sharks), N Hines (Clermont Auvergne), R Vernon (Sale Sharks), M Blair (Edinburgh), D Parks (Cardiff Blues), S Danielli (Ulster).