Six Nations: Robinson insists Laidlaw could have handled a starting berth

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Scotland rugby coach Andy Robinson has denied Greig Laidlaw could have been overburdened by starting the opening RBS Six Nations clash with England at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Largely overlooked in a key debate is the fact that whoever filled the stand-off berth would also be goal-kicker following Chris Paterson’s retirement.

For Laidlaw, a sub almost sure to be phased in, that would have been a responsibility to add to a first international start and a first Six Nations experience while relatively fresh out of the scrum-half role. But Robinson, who prefers Dan Parks, said: “Greig has played really well. He has got comfortable playing in the ten (stand-off) slot and has been attacking the line well.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing how he has grown, being able to move from nine (scrum-half) to ten.”

The selection, with Chris Cusiter at scrum-half, has not gained universal approval inside Murrayfield, with Edinburgh centre James King tweeting: “Not naming names but I would [have] had one of the Blair brothers (Mike) in at nine and the wee guy from Jed (Laidlaw) in at ten.”

Robinson has also claimed the only new cap, Lee Jones, can emerge from the shadow of fellow Edinburgh wing Tim Visser, saying: “There’s a quality Lee has brought to the Edinburgh game. There’s a lot of talk about Visser and the tries he has scored but Lee’s work has been very good.”