Updated: Saturday, 08 February 2014 02:22 | By Agence France-Presse

Seymour taken aback by Scotland call

Tommy Seymour said he was determined to repay the faith of Scotland coach Scott Johnson after being called into the starting side for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with England at Murrayfield.


Seymour taken aback by Scotland call

Tommy Seymour of Scotland in action at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland, on November 17, 2013 - by Ian MacNicol

It looked as if Max Evans would be on the right wing after coming on for the injured Sean Maitland during Scotland's lacklustre 28-6 loss away to Ireland in their Six Nations opener last weekend.

New Zealand-born flyer Maitland was subsequently ruled out of the rest of the tournament with knee and ankle injuries.

But rather than start the experienced Evans against England, Johnson has instead opted to give Glasgow back Seymour just his sixth cap and first in the Six Nations this weekend.

"Johnno has made the call and I'm incredibly happy that I've been given my first Six Nations start," the 25-year-old Johnson said Friday.

"But I thought Max played well when he came on in Dublin and if he had started I wouldn't have been surprised. He's a top quality rugby player with a huge number of caps for Scotland.

"He's a great lad as well and was the first one to come up to me and say congrats. There's definitely not any ill feeling between the two of us.

"One of the things I have thought about since Johnno told me I was starting is that I've got to go out there and do Max justice as much as anything else, because I know if he was in that shirt he would be going all out and putting in a great performance.

"I know that as long as I'm out on that park I have to do everything I can to have my team-mates' backing and their belief that the coaches made the right call," Seymour added.

Seymour is one of three changes made by Australia coach Johnson, with the most notable his decision to drop captain Kelly Brown from the matchday 23 and give a Test debut to openside flanker Chris Fusaro.

Meanwhile Seymour is joined in the back division by Matt Scott, the Edinburgh centre replacing Duncan Taylor.

"Kelly is a great guy and a great person," Seymour said. "His exclusion this week doesn't say anything about his character or his ability to play the game.

"He has dealt with it really professionally and in his own way. Knowing Kelly, he will only want what is best for the team so he will not be feeling too sorry for himself or trying to draw attention away from the job we have to do at the weekend."

And Seymour insisted that despite a convincing defeat in Dublin, there was every chance the team could raise their game against England, just as so many Scotland teams had done before, in what will be the 132nd edition of international rugby union's oldest fixture.

"A week can be a long time in rugby, but by the same token we don't have much time with the six-day turnaround to dwell on the things that have happened last weekend," Seymour said.

"You need to give yourself time to review the things that went wrong but then you have to move on and get ready for the next game."

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