Dougie Fife, the 23-year-old Edinburgh Rugby winger (pictured above), becomes the second new cap of Scotland’s 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship campaign having been named today in the team to play Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Fife, nurtured by the Boroughmuir and Currie clubs and the first former pupil of Firrhill High School in Edinburgh to play international rugby for Scotland, replaces Tommy Seymour who has not recovered sufficiently from the ankle injury he sustained against France last weekend.
On the other wing, Max Evans, who knows what it is to score a try at the Millennium Stadium, proved his fitness at training this morning and will win his 42nd cap.
On the bench, Jack Cuthbert will provide back three cover. It’s Cuthbert’s first involvement in a Scotland match-day 23 since the final game in the 2012 Championship.
Scotland head coach Scott Johnson is delighted to add Fife – Scotland’s 1053rd cap – to join Chris Fusaro as a debutant during this campaign.
He told www.scottishrugby.org : “We like Dougie’s size and his competitive edge. He chases everything, which I like, and he has shown really good glimpses playing for Edinburgh this season.
“He’s been ear-marked by us for a while – we’ve been following him for the last 12 months – and he’s got his reward now. If he gets this one right, you might find that he puts a bit of pressure on (for a place) going forward, which is really good.
“I don’t really think Saturday will faze Dougie. He’s one of those players where it doesn’t seem to matter who he marks he just goes out and plays the same.”
Fife said: “I’m absolutely delighted and can’t wait. The Millennium Stadium with the roof closed – I don’t think it could be much better to be honest.
“When I got a run of games with Edinburgh and started doing fairly well I felt I could be on the brink(of a Scotland call) if I stuck in. Luckily I’ve been patient and my time has come.”
Fife has visited the home of Welsh rugby before – on a tour with the Scotland under-20 team – and is relishing the prospect of his debut this weekend.
Meanwhile, Wales have made six changes to their starting line-up. Three come in the backline with Liam Williams (Scarlets) and Mike Phillips (Racing Metro) in for injured duo Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb, at full-back and scrum-half respectively.
Dan Biggar makes his first start of the tournament at fly-half, partnering Phillips at half-back.
Scotland team (sponsor RBS) to play Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday 15 March, kick-off 2.45pm
15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 19 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
14 Dougie Fife(Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped
13 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 20 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
11 Max Evans (Castres) 41 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 12 caps, 1 try, 3 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop-goal, 17 points
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) vice-cpt 28 caps, 3 tries, 25 conversions, 58 penalties, 239 points
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 17 caps
2 Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons) 42 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 27 caps, 1 try, 5 points
4 Richie Gray (Castres) 36 caps, 1 try, 5 points
5 Jim Hamilton (Montpellier) 54 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) captain 62 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
8 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps
16 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 74 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
17 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) 33 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
18 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 58 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
19 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps
20 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 37 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
21 Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors) 67 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
22 Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 9 caps
23 Jack Cuthbert (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap