5 Nov 2008

White returns to Scotland rugby team

5:52 am on 5 November 2008

The Scotland rugby coach Frank Hadden has recalled the experienced Jason White to his side for this weekend's test match against New Zealand at Murrayfield.

The 30-year-old White, a former Scotland captain, was dropped to the bench during this year's Six Nations Championship and then, because of surgery to his knee, missed the Scots' tour to Argentina but has steadily worked his way back to full fitness this season.

White returns at blindside flanker to play alongside another returning player, Simon Taylor, in a reshaped back row that Hadden and his assistant coaches Mike Brewer and Graeme Steadman hope can dictate play against New Zealand.

Brewer, a former All Black, says they've picked players who they think can react to the pressures at this level, they want players who can make the right decisions in the contact zone and who are capable defenders.

In the backs Hadden has opted for a strong Edinburgh presence with five of the seven positions occupied by capital players, among them flyhalf Phil Godman, whom Hadden believes can bring out the best from the young centre pairing of Nick De Luca and Ben Cairns and quick winger Thom Evans.

Scotland have never won against New Zealand and victory over either New Zealand or South Africa, a week later, would give the Scots a chance to gain a place in the top eight of the International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings, which would help them in the World Cup draw on December first.