Scotland v Wales - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last updated: 9th March 2013  

Duncan weir scotland 2013

Duncan Weir: Will make his first start for Scotland on Saturday

 Rob Howley - Wales Six Nations

Rob Howley: Taking Scotland threat very seriously

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Wales coach Rob Howley believes his side's RBS Six Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday will be a very evenly-matched contest.

The reigning champions are the favourites heading into the match and are on a run of five successive victories against Scotland.

But Howley says the hosts, who are still in title contention after wins over Italy and Ireland, have an all-round game which could trouble Wales.

"Scotland have been really impressive, having to defend without much possession. And they have played some good rugby," Howley said.

"When you look at their individuals - their back-three against our back-three - it is going to be some game in terms of counter-attacking and ball in hand.

"(Forwards coach) Dean Ryan has given them a steely edge, and the breakdown area will be key. They are at home and will fancy their chances."

Wales, themselves still in the running to defend their crown, welcome back flanker Sam Warburton as one of three changes to their starting XV, with prop Gethin Jenkins and lock Alun Wyn Jones also coming in.

Scotland hand a full debut to fly-half Duncan Weir, who replaces Glasgow team-mate Ruaridh Jackson in the No 10 shirt.

Worcester prop Euan Murray returns to the side after missing the 12-8 win over Ireland due to religious reasons.

Scotland: 15 S Hogg, 14 S Maitland, 13 S Lamont, 12 M Scott, 11 T Visser, 10 D Weir, 9 G Laidlaw, 8 J Beattie, 7 K Brown, 6 R Harley, 5 J Hamilton, 4 R Gray, 3 E Murray, 2 R Ford, 1 R Grant.

Replacements: 16 D Hall, 17 M Low, 18 G Cross, 19 A Kellock, 20 R Wilson, 21 H Pyrgos, 22 R Jackson, 23 M Evans.

Wales: 15 L Halfpenny, 14 A Cuthbert, 13 J Davies, 12 J Roberts, 11 G North, 10 D Biggar, 9 M Phillips, 8 T Faletau, 7 S Warburton, 6 R Jones (capt), 5 I Evans, 4 A-W Jones, 3 A Jones, 2 R Hibbard, 1 P James.

Replacements: 16 K Owens, 17 S Andrews, 18 R Bevington, 19 A Coombs, 20 J Tipuric, 21 L Williams, 22 J Hook, 23 S Williams.

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