Duo shocked by call-ups

PA Sport
Sean Lamont (right) will face Samoa on Saturday
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Sean Lamont (right) will face Samoa on Saturday

Sean Lamont and Chris Cusiter are determined to make the most of their surprise call-ups to the Scotland team to face Samoa this weekend.

Neither player thought they were in with a chance until the team was read to the players only a couple of hours before it was made public, reasoning that coach Andy Robinson would stick to the side who beat Fiji 37-25 on Saturday.

Cusiter, who replaces Mike Blair at scrum-half, said: "I didn't see it coming. That said, I was really pleased with my impact off the bench in the last two games, but I am still delighted. I am confident, I am playing well and it is nice to get a start in the last game of the season."

It was a similar story for Lamont, who seems to make a habit of getting into the side when Samoa are around.

"I had presumed he (Robinson) would go with the same team as he did last week, with me on the bench," he admitted. "I am grateful that I have an early chance. I still love playing for Scotland so any chance to go on the field is good. My first cap was against them, so was my 50th. Outside the Six Nations, the only team I have played more often than Samoa is Australia."

Lamont knows he is in there to do a job, to be the big, powerhouse ball carrier in the backs, and is relishing the confrontation with the confidence of being familiar with the majority of the Samoan side from club clashes in European competitions.

"Obviously I have played against a few of them but I have not seen their team yet so I'm not exactly sure who will be there," he said. "Quite a few of the boys across the board are players we know from having played with them or against them, they are excellent players.

"We know a lot of their players from European rugby and in general they are simply a more structured team than the Fiji side we faced last week, whether that is a result of the time they have had together or the players they have got. They will be a big threat, especially on home soil."

For Cusiter, one reason he is there is to mark the Samoan dangerman, Kahn Fotuali'i, out of the game. The rival scrum-halves know each other well from club meetings in the RaboDirect Pro12 - Fotuali'i plays for the Ospreys and Cusiter for Glasgow - and the Scot said: "Kahn Fotuali'i is a cracking player.

"He has had a good year at the Ospreys, he played very well in their game against Japan the other day and is a key player for them. They have a a lot of guys back in the side who play in Europe and we know them a lot better than we did the Fijians last week, so it is going to be a different challenge."

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