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Scotland captain Brown dropped for England match

February 6, 2014

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland has dropped captain Kelly Brown for Saturday’s Six Nations match against England, replacing the Saracens flanker with debutant Chris Fusaro.

Brown had a disappointing performance in Scotland’s hefty 28-6 loss in Ireland in its tournament opener last weekend.

Coach Scott Johnson said it was a “difficult” decision on Thursday.

Vice-captain Greig Laidlaw will lead Scotland out at Murrayfield while Fusaro wins his first cap.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” the 24-year-old Fusaro said. “Being the Calcutta Cup, there’s no better game to get your first cap. I’m still pinching myself a bit.”

Brown’s omission is one of three changes to the starting lineup. Edinburgh center Matt Scott replaces the benched Duncan Taylor and Glasgow wing Tommy Seymour comes in for clubmate Sean Maitland, who will miss the rest of the tournament with knee and ankle injuries.

On the bench, Glasgow’s Jonny Gray replaces his British and Irish Lion brother Richie — who like Brown does not make the matchday squad at all — while experienced hooker Scott Lawson has been given the nod over Pat MacArthur.

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Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont, Duncan Weir, Greig Laidlaw (captain); David Denton, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson, Jim Hamilton, Tim Swinson, Moray Low, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Scott Lawson, Alasdair Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Jonny Gray, Johnnie Beattie, Chris Cusiter, Duncan Taylor, Max Evans.