Scotland strengthened for Samoa

Coach Vern Cotter has made eight changes to the Scotland lineup for their final pool game against Samoa in Newcastle.

Scotland are not yet secured of a place in the quarter-finals and need to win on Saturday to stay in the tournament. If not, they could be overtaken on the Pool B log by Japan, who play against the USA on Sunday.

In the backline, a fit-again Finn Russell slots back in at flyhalf ahead of Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett is preferred to Richie Vernon at outside centre, and Sean Maitland replaces Tim Visser on the wing.

There are two changes in the back row: John Hardie and Ryan Wilson take over from Blair Cowan and Josh Strauss, respectively. For the front row Ross Ford and Alasdair Dickinson come in, with Frasen Brown and Gordon Reid dropping to the bench.

Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 David Denton, 7 John Hardie, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Subs: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont.

Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP

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