GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — New Zealand-born winger Sean Maitland will debut for Scotland against England at Twickenham in Six Nations rugby on Saturday.
Scotland also handed hooker Dougie Hall his first start since 2007, and No. 8 Johnnie Beattie a cap for the first time in two years. Greig Laidlaw will start at scrumhalf for the first time in his three-year international career, one of among seven changes by interim coach Scott Johnson on Tuesday, as Scotland seeks its first win at Twickenham in 30 years.
Maitland qualified for Scotland through his grandparents, and arrived in Glasgow only in October from Super rugby's Crusaders. But in helping the Warriors to second in the Pro 12, the old Celtic League, Scotland's latest Kilted Kiwi has been picked on form. He's one of six Warriors to start.
"Sean Maitland is very proud to be pulling on the Scotland jersey for the first time," Johnson said. "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." Hall made his debut 10 years ago, but most of his 39 caps have been as a reserve. He'll pack in between loosehead prop Ryan Grant, back from injury, and tighthead Euan Murray, who will play his 50th test. Jim Hamilton was back to partner at lock with Richie Gray, while Beattie will appear for the first time since the warmup matches for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
"I've been impressed by what I've seen of Johnnie Beattie," Johnson said. "He brings dynamism to our back row and we're looking for him to bring that to bear on Saturday." Laidlaw began his career for Scotland in 2010 as the backup scrumhalf, but became the regular flyhalf, including all of last year. But Johnson has brought back Ruaridh Jackson and bumped Laidlaw to the back of scrum, the position from which his uncle, Roy Laidlaw, scored a try in Scotland's last win at Twickenham in 1983.
"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 said.
England names its team on Thursday.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown (captain), Alasdair Strokosch, Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray, Euan Murray, Dougie Hall, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Ross Ford, Moray Low, Geoff Cross, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Max Evans.