Saturday, August 30, 2014   

(Six Nations) Scots, Welsh shuffle to gain attacking advantage
(03-08 18:30)

Scott Johnson's present and past will collide when Scotland play Wales in the Six Nations at Murrayfield tomorrow, with both sides still very much in title contention.
Johnson is Scotland's interim head coach, a position that could yet well become permanent following their recent back-to-back wins over Italy and Ireland, AFP reports.
Those victories represented the first time in 12 years Scotland had won successive Six Nations matches and strengthened the 50-year-old Johnson's hand following his promotion from within the backroom set-up after former coach Andy Robinson resigned in the wake of their shock defeat by Tonga in November.
In 2006, Johnson was in temporary charge of Wales, with his three games overseeing the fortunes of the Welsh yielding no wins, a draw and two defeats.
Scotland, beaten by Grand Slam chasers England in the first round, are level on points with second-placed Wales. Last time out they defied rugby orthodoxy by defeating Ireland 12-8 despite conceding more than 70 percent possession and territory.
No one, least of all Johnson, believes Scotland can be on the end of such statistics two matches in a row and still come out victorious against Wales.
The coach has made two changes to his starting XV, with Glasgow outside-half Duncan Weir replacing club-mate Ruaridh Jackson and Euan Murray, who missed the Sunday fixture against Ireland on religious grounds, returning to the front row in place of the unlucky Geoff Cross.
Weir played in composed fashion in the crucial final 20 minutes of the Ireland match after coming on for Jackson, helping take some of the strain off goal-kicking scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.
Wales, without injured prop Gethin Jenkins, have made changes to the side that overwhelmed Italy 26-9 in their last match as they bid for a sixth straight championship win over Scotland.
Sam Warburton, Wales's Grand Slam-winning captain last season, has replaced openside flanker Justin Tipuric in a reshaped back row, with experienced lock forward Alun-Wyn Jones taking over from Andrew Coombs.
However, although Warburton is back after suffering a shoulder injury earlier in the championship, fellow loose forward Ryan Jones has been retained as captain by interim head coach Rob Howley.
Jones, who has led Wales a record 31 times, took over when Wales beat France in Paris.
   
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