Alastair Kellock is the man who will lead Scotland into the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Scottish coach Andy Robinson has named his side today and with no place for Glasgow Warrior’s influential number eight, Johnnie Beattie, Scotland’s rivals should be weary of the talent Scotland possess in the back row.
Beattie has started just twice for Scotland this year and a dramatic loss of form means Richie Vernon will be handed the number eight shirt.
Vernon will be joined in the back row by John Barclay and Kelly Brown, while Ross Rennie, Alasdair Strokosch and Nathan Hines will provide cover in an exciting back row.
Captain Kellock looks set to be joined by Richie Gray in the second row while Scotland have a wealth of talent in the front row with Alasdair Dickinson, Allan Jacobsen, Moray Low and Euan Murray all hoping for a first team spot alongside Euan Murray.
The backs have been Scotland’s Achilles heel for some time and while the ever reliable boot of Chris Paterson will keep the points ticking over, the loss of winger Nikki Walker is a big blow.
Scotland have managed just nine tries in seven Tests in 2011 and have top scored with 23 points against Italy last Saturday.
Robinson will be looking to guys like Sean Lamont, Max Evans and Joe Ansbro to provide the creativity, and Scotland will need to do so if they are to get through a group that includes England, Argentina, Georgia and Romania.
Backs: Joe Ansbro (London Irish), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Castres), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lamont (Toulon), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh).
Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Richie Gray, Dougie Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Nathan Hines (Clermont Auvergne), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (captain, Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Newcastle Falcons), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Richie Vernon (Sale Sharks).