Richie Gray fit for inclusion as Scotland coach Andy Robinson makes five changes

Last Updated: 06/11/12 7:49pm

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Richie Gray: Fitness test later in the week

Richie Gray: Fitness test later in the week

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Richie Gray has been passed fit for Scotland's first Autumn Test against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday.

The lock had been doubtful due to an ankle injury, but he came through full training on Tuesday unscathed and has been declared fit to take on the world champions.

Coach Andy Robinson said: "Richie has trained fully with us this afternoon and is in good spirits. He is raring to go for Sunday's match."

Robinson makes five changes from the side which finished an unbeaten summer tour with victory over Samoa, with centre Nick De Luca and scrum-half Mike Blair coming in for injured pair Joe Ansbro and Chris Cusiter.

In the pack Euan Murray, Alastair Kellock and Richie Vernon make way for Geoff Cross, Jim Hamilton and Kelly Brown, who captains the side for the first time on his 50th appearance.

Glasgow Warriors' uncapped scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, meanwhile, is among the replacements.

"For our first game of the season we will really need to start well and keep the game simple," Robinson added.

"New Zealand are the world champions and they perform the basic skills well under the highest pressure. We need to step up from the summer tour and be ready to go toe to toe in a physical contest."

Almost all 67,144 tickets are sold, and the head coach said: "Thanks to the fans for their tremendous backing. For me, there's nothing to compare to a full house on international match day."

Scotland: Hogg, Lamont, De Luca, Scott, Visser, Laidlaw, Blair, Grant, Cross, Ford, Gray, Hamilton, Strokosch, Rennie, Brown.

Replacements: Lawson, Jacobsen, Traynor, Kellock, Denton, Pyrgos, Jackson, Evans.

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