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Scotland v N Zealand: Teams
At Murrayfield, Saturday November 13, Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
New Zealand travel to Murrayfield on Saturday with Scotland looking to earn their first ever win over the All Blacks.
At first glance, the numbers point to a forgone conclusion: Scotland have never beaten the All Blacks, who cross Hadrian's Wall after a victorious stopover in London in what's been an already highly successful year.
The standard fighting talk coming out of the Scotland camp this week has been the hosts explaining how they are confident they could upset the bookies by taking the game to the world's number one team.
In all honesty, it's difficult to imagine Scotland ending their 105-year losing streak although they have every reason to be positive.
Victory over the Wallabies this time last year proved that nothing is impossible and a series win in Argentina in June underlined the strength of Andy Robinson's squad.
Although Keven Mealamu's suspension has been halved on appeal, he will still miss the match in favour of Hikawera Elliot - a change Scotland will doubtless be hoping will disrupt the All Blacks' front row.
Scotland have a strong scrummaging unit and after England got the upper hand last week, Saturday's hosts will hope to find a chink in the All Blacks' armour.
Another question mark hangs over how New Zealand's back-line will adjust to another reshuffle, with Sonny Bill Williams given a run at number twelve as Graham Henry and co. experiment to find where best to use the man-mountain. After a strong debut at Twickenham, don't expect SBW to be the weak link in a very well-oiled machine.
The last time New Zealand visited Murrayfield in 2008 they romped to a 26-point victory over a Scotland side that attempted an overly-expansive approach. Pragmatism will be the name of game.
In the absence of the injured Alastair Kellock, 21-year-old Richie Gray has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few months.
The Glasgow lock has impressed Andy Robinson enough to get the nod ahead of Test veteran Nathan Hines, which is testament to his potential.
Scotland: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Max Evans , 12 Graeme Morrison , 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Mike Blair (c), 8 Richie Vernon , 7 John Barclay , 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray , 3 Euan Murray , 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen .
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Nathan Hines , 19 Ross Rennie, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Ruaridh Jackson, 22 Nikki Walker.
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Hikawera Elliot, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Ma'a Nonu.
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|Saturday 18th October|
|10:00||Australia vs New Zealand|
|Saturday 1st November|
|TBC||USA vs New Zealand|
|Saturday 8th November|
|TBC||Scotland vs Argentina|
|14:00||Italy vs Samoa|
|14:30||England vs New Zealand|
|14:30||Wales vs Australia|
|16:45||France vs Fiji|
|17:00||Ireland vs South Africa|
|Saturday 15th November|
|TBC||Scotland vs New Zealand|
|14:30||England vs South Africa|
|14:30||Italy vs Argentina|
|14:30||Wales vs Fiji|
|20:00||France vs Australia|
|Sunday 16th November|
|14:30||Ireland vs Georgia|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|TBC||Scotland vs Tonga|
|14:30||Italy vs South Africa|
|16:30||Ireland vs Australia|
|17:30||Wales vs New Zealand|
|19:00||England vs Samoa|
|20:00||France vs Argentina|
|Saturday 29th November|
|14:30||England vs Australia|
|14:30||Wales vs South Africa|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com