Lawson and Rennie start for Scotland against Ireland

Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson
Lawson captained Scotland to victories over South Africa and Samoa last year

Scrum-half Rory Lawson will captain Scotland in Saturday's World Cup warm-up Test against Ireland at Murrayfield.

Ross Rennie makes his first international start at openside flanker, with Alasdair Strokosch and Johnnie Beattie making up the back row.

There is also a new-look partnership at centre, with Joe Ansbro pairing up with Graeme Morrison.

Jim Hamilton will start at lock and Sean Lamont reverts to the wing, with hooker Ross Ford vice-captain.

Head coach Andy Robinson has recast the team that ended the Six Nations Championship with victory over Italy as he seeks to finalise his squad of 30 for the World Cup in New Zealand next month.

"In any international match there is always a huge amount at stake, but the EMC Tests take on extra significance this year as we hone our preparations for the start of the world's third biggest sporting event," said Robinson.

"I am a firm believer that competition brings the best out in players and I've said to the squad that it lies in their hands to make the case for their inclusion in the final 30 for New Zealand."

Robinson maintains his team will not take Saturday's friendly against Ireland lightly as both teams kickstart their World cup preparations.

The Italians will provide Scotland's final warm-up opponents on the 20th August before the Scots fly to New Zealand.

'We see them as full on test matches," said the coach. "There's an opportunity for the 22 selected to put markers down."

Centre Morrison returns to international duty after injury and will renew his partnership with Joe Ansbro.

Robinson believes that it is a pairing that could prove fruitful for the Scots.

"These games are all about partnerships and we're looking for that partnership between Morrison and Ansbro to develop," he said.

Scrum half Rory Lawson will captain the side on Saturday and Robinson acknowledges the Gloucester player's leadership qualities.

"He did really well for us in the summer as captain," he said. "We've got a very strong leadership group and it's getting the mix right. Ross Ford will lead the pack."

On the bench, Robinson has listed two uncapped players, 21-year-old Edinburgh back-row forward David Denton and 23-year-old Bath full-back Jack Cuthbert.

Ireland were 21-18 winners in Edinburgh during this year's Six Nations, outscoring the hosts three tries to none.

Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); N Walker (Ospreys), J Ansbro (London Irish), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets); R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), R Lawson (Gloucester); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), J Hamilton (Gloucester), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Beattie (Glasgow Warriors), R Rennie (Edinburgh).

Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow Warriors), A Dickinson (Sale Sharks), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), D Denton (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), N De Luca (Edinburgh), J Cuthbert (Bath).

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