MX23RW : Tuesday, December 18 11:24:59

Scott Johnson names Scotland team

Johnson names Scotland team
© PA Photos
Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson hands Sean Maitland his debut for Saturday's Six Nations opener against England.

Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson has made six changes from the team that lost at home to Tonga in November for Saturday's Six Nations opener against England.

Sean Maitland will make his debut in the Calcutta Cup clash, while his Glasgow Warriors teammate Dougie Hall will also make his first start in six years.

Johnny Beattie also returns to the side for the first time since 2011, with Ryan Grant restored at front row alongside Euan Murray.

"I've spoken about the importance of this competition, the history and tradition of it, and you couldn't get a more mouth-watering opening than the game between international rugby's oldest foes," Johnson told Sky Sports News.

"Selection for us has been about form but also with an eye to the future. Sean Maitland is very proud to be pulling on the Scotland jersey for the first time.

"His family will be rapt because they raised him in New Zealand always reminding him of his Scottish heritage, getting up in the early hours of the morning to watch both the Five and Six Nations games on the TV."

"He's shown he can play footy with the best of them and the impact he's made since arriving at Glasgow in the autumn has underlined what we'd seen of him playing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby."

Meanwhile, it was announced on Monday that Kelly Brown will skipper the side.

Scotland: Hogg, Maitland, Lamont, Scott, Visser, Jackson, Laidlaw; Grant, Hall, Murray, Gray, Hamilton, Strokosch, Brown, Beattie

Replacements: Ford, Low, Cross, Kellock, Denton, Pyrgos, Weir, Evans


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Scotland players talk during game with South Africa on November 17, 2012
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