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Six Nations: Scotland drop captain Kelly Brown for Murrayfield clash with England

Last Updated: 06/02/14 5:55pm

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Kelly Brown: Dropped for Saturday's Calcutta Cup contest

Kelly Brown: Dropped for Saturday's Calcutta Cup contest

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Scotland captain Kelly Brown has been dropped for Saturday's Six Nations clash with England at Murrayfield and replaced by Chris Fusaro.

The Saracens flanker doesn't even feature among the replacements as head coach Scott Johnson makes three changes to the starting team that were defeated 28-6 by Ireland on Sunday.

Fusaro, 24, will win his first cap while Glasgow teammate Tommy Seymour replaces the injured Sean Maitland on the wing.

"England are powerful, they have an edge to their side and are assertive and aggressive. They will probably consider themselves unlucky last weekend but it's not always brute force that wins these games."
Scott Johnson

The other change sees Edinburgh's Matt Scott named at inside centre with Duncan Taylor dropping to the bench.

Experienced hooker Scott Lawson is given the nod over Pat McArthur as replacement hooker, while British and Irish Lions lock Richie Gray loses out to younger brother Jonny.

Greig Laidlaw has been named captain, the third time he has skippered his country, and while Johnson admitted it was a difficult decision to omit Brown, he said Fusaro's skills as a ball-winner on the deck had been key in the selectors' deliberations.

Powerful

"Fusaro is picked to do a certain role and we believe there's an opportunity for him to do it," said Johnson.

"England are powerful, they have an edge to their side and are assertive and aggressive. They will probably consider themselves unlucky last weekend but it's not always brute force that wins these games."

Of the other changes to the starting team, Johnson said: "I spoke to Tommy (Seymour) in the summer that he needed a point of difference. One of the things that comes to mind is his aerial skills.

"He possesses natural aerial skills from his time in Ireland. Every time he has gone up in class his skills have transcended."

Johnson said he was also excited by the resumption of the centre partnership between Scott and Alex Dunbar, which shaped very promisingly during last summer's tour of South Africa.

He added: "We are all looking forward hugely to Saturday's match. You want the rivalry that exists. It's intense and great to be part of."

Scotland: Hogg, Seymour, Dunbar, Scott, Lamont, Weir, Laidlaw (c); Grant, Ford, Low, Swinson, Hamilton, Wilson, Fusaro, Denton.

Replacements: Lawson, Dickinson, Cross, J Gray, Beattie, Cusiter, Taylor, Evans.

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