Rugby: Visser gets the nod for his long-awaited Scots debut

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EDINBURGH Rugby’s Tim Visser has been drafted straight into the Scotland side for this weekend’s match against Fiji after completing his residency period.

The 25-year-old Dutchman, who became eligible for Scotland yesterday after qualifying on the grounds of three years’ residency, will line up on the left wing as coach Andy Robinson made two injury-enforced changes to the side that beat Australia.

Visser is joined in the side by Max Evans, who will feature on the right wing having missed the last match because his French club Castres would not release him in time.

The pair replace Sean Lamont, who was ruled out by rib damage but may still be able to take a spot on the bench, and Joe Ansbro whose cut eye, picked up in the post-match celebration following the win over Australia, is still causing problems.

There is a chance of further changes to the team as well, with a stomach bug doing the rounds, meaning that five players were unable to take a full part in training.

Robinson believes that all will be fit by the weekend but is wary of the risk that others may go down with it.

The head coach dismissed the suggestion that the two wing changes would have happened regardless of injury as “hypothetical”. However, he did accept that Visser, who has been the RaboDirect Pro12 leading try scorer for the last three seasons and was only one touchdown behind Fijian Timoci Matanavou in the race to be Europe’s top try scorer, was always likely to win selection for this game.

“It is simple, he has to bring the way he plays for Edinburgh onto the international stage,” Robinson said.

“What Tim has to do is bring the support lines that he runs and his ability to score tries. He is very elusive in his ability to beat people and when he has the ball in hand he has the ability to take players on and has to be encouraged to have a real go.”

Visser is the only uncapped player in the side, although Ryan Grant, who made his debut in the 9-6 win against Australia, and Edinburgh centre Matt Scott, who was making his first start in that game, both keep their places.

Ross Ford will again captain the team.

Scotland team to face Fiji at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday: S Hogg (Glasgow); M Evans (Castres), N De Luca (Edinburgh), M Scott (Edinburgh), T Visser (Edinburgh); G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh); R Grant (Glasgow), R Ford (C) (Glasgow), E Murray (Newcastle), A Kellock (Glasgow), R Gray (Glasgow), A Strokosch (Gloucester), R Rennie (Edinburgh), J Barclay (Glasgow).

Replacements to be announced.