Greig Laidlaw: Scotland cannot throw caution to the wind against Argentina
Skipper Greig Laidlaw admits he cannot wait to see the outcome as Scotland prepare to use all of their most adventurous attacking weapons against Argentina.
But he has warned that Scotland cannot throw caution top the wind; they must pick the optimum moment to strike.
Gregor Townsend has decided to take the shackles off his team after naming a back division in which Adam Hastings and Finn Russell combine in an intriguing 10-12 partnership.
Huw Jones – fresh from his audacious double offload for Peter Horne’s try against South Africa last week – starts at outside centre while Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland are joined in a electrifying back three by Edinburgh youngster Blair Kinghorn. And Laidlaw is expecting fireworks at Murrayfield today.
The Clermont Auvergne scrum-half said: “Yeah it’s brilliant to be part of such a tantalising backline.
“It’s up to myself and the forwards to produce the ball that the boys can use out wide, whether it be Hoggy, Sean or young Blair. He is itching to come in and play. He’s a big, physical winger like Hoggy and Sean and it will be important for us to get the ball in their hands.
“I’m also looking forward to starting beside Adam, very much so. He’s obviously a young exciting player coming in. He’s been playing well at Glasgow and has also come on to play late in a few Tests off the bench. He started in the summer against Argentina and I think that will stand him in good stead going into the game.
“It’s really exciting and hopefully having myself inside him and Finn on the outside will help him grow into the game. There’s some similarities between him and Finn for sure. He’s very positive and likes to play. Under Dave Rennie at Glasgow he has really come on. So he’s been playing well this season and he just needs to get out there and do what he’s good at.”
But even with so much firepower on offer, Laidlaw has warned that the Dark Blues must be careful not to end up shooting themselves in the foot and pick the right moments to launch their attacking players.
He said: “We need to be careful to play at the right time and in the areas that’s key. That’s part of my job. It’s something I’ve worked on this week and something I’ve spoke to a couple of the boys about.
“We have a strategy in place that we’ll try to implement.”
Scotland dished out a six-try lesson to the Pumas on their own turf back in the summer as they ran up a record 44-15 triumph. Mario Ledesma has replaced Daniel Hourcade as head coach since that disaster in Resistencia but Laidlaw believes the Argentinians will focus on memories of that defeat as they run out in Edinburgh.
Asked if he felt the visitors would be out for revenge, he said: “Yeah I do. They won’t be too happy at all with the way the result went over in Argentina.
“But it’s a different game, Argentina have been playing well in the Rugby Championship.
“They’ll be disappointed with the way they went last weekend and they’ll be looking to finish their season strongly by coming to us and really putting on a big performance.”
Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow); Sean Maitland (Saracens), Huw Jones (Glasgow), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh); Adam Hastings (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (c) (Clermont); Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh),
Josh Strauss (Sale). Replacements: Stuart McInally (Edinburgh); Alex Allan (Glasgow); Willem Nel (Edinburgh); Sam Skinner (Exeter); Ryan Wilson (Glasgow); George Horne (Glasgow); Alex Dunbar (Glasgow); Byron McGuigan (Sale).