Head coach Andy Robinson believes speed is of the essence for Scotland, who have 80 minutes on Saturday against Auld Enemy England to revive their World Cup campaign.
Scotland battle England in the must-win Pool B game at Eden Park in Auckland with a team showing six changes and one positional switch from the one which began the 13-12 loss to Argentina.
With the Pumas expected to beat Georgia, victory by at least eight points, thus denying England a losing bonus point, is the target for Scotland to extend their record of reaching at least the quarter-finals in every World Cup.
Robinson hopes his team can play at a high tempo and speed, with Mike Blair named at scrum-half, Sean Lamont at centre alongside Joe Ansbro and Simon Danielli on the wing, behind a pack which sees the return of captain Alastair Kellock, prop Euan Murray and No. 8 Richie Vernon.
Robinson said: “I just felt that we need to put a bit more pace into the team. Secondly, getting the balance right, because you can put pace in the team but you still have to be able to establish a go-forward.
“We have to be able to play through England because we won’t be able to beat them by just playing around them.
“Picking Mike at scrum-half with Chris [Cusiter] on the bench I believe we’re able to do that, and with Sean coming in at centre.”
Second row Kellock was omitted from the team to play the Pumas, despite being named tournament captain in August, and comes in for Jim Hamilton, who has been struggling with a knee injury.
Now scrum-half Lawson, the captain against Georgia and Argentina, is out of the matchday 22, with Blair preferred for the Edinburgh No. 9 to win his 75th cap. Graeme Morrison has been omitted for Lamont at centre, with Danielli coming onto the wing.
Robinson added: “He [Lamont] is confident coming in there and we need a ball-carrier that can buy us some time to get players into position, and Sean did that well. He was up to ten or 11 carries last week on the wing, and we expect him to carry more in the centre.”
Meanwhile, Delon Armitage will start on the left wing for England in place of Mark Cueto. Armitage features as one of three changes from last weekend’s 67-3 victory over Romania, which was sparked by a quick-fire hat-trick from Cueto on his comeback from injury.
Matt Stevens starts at loosehead prop following an ankle injury and Courtney Lawes returns to the second row, having served a two-match ban.
* TWO England coaches have been suspended by the Rugby Football Union for the Pool B decider. Kicking coach Dave Alred and fitness specialist Paul Stridgeon were found to have illegally switched balls as England beat Romania.
Alred and Stridgeon will be banned from entering Auckland’s Eden Park following an internal RFU review of the incident.