Samoa - Scotland: 2015 Rugby World Cup match preview
Sean Lamont will make his 100th Test appearance for Scotland if he comes off the bench on Saturday (image via: express)

Scotland and Samoa meet at St James' Park on Saturday, in a game that was expected to decide second spot in Pool B.  

Instead, Samoa will be hoping to spoil the party, after their defeats against South Africa and Japan have given them zero chance of qualifying for the knockout stages in what has been a disappointing World Cup for the Manu. 

Vern Cotter's Scotland just need a win to be assured of their quarter-final spot, with a defeat opening the door for Japan who play the USA in the final pool game of the 2015 Rugby World Cup on Sunday evening. 

Scots back at full-strength for biggest game in years

After surprising many with his selection for the South Africa game, Cotter has gone with what looks like his first choice team for this must-win game in Newcastle. 

Finn Russell returns from injury to start at fly-half in a massive boost for Scotland, with Alasdair Dickinson and Ross Ford coming in to a fearsome looking front-row.

Ryan Wilson and John Hardie start on the flanks after missing out against South Africa, whilst Mark Bennett comes back into the side at the expense of Richie Vernon in the centres after being a surprising omission in the last game. 

Sean Lamont will win his 100th Test cap if he comes off of the bench to take part after beating out Tim Visser for a place in the matchday 23. 

Samoans change seven after Japanese shocker

In their last outing, Samoa were woeful in defeat against Japan with an array of handling errors, coupled with indiscipline which saw them pick up three yellow cards. 

Stephen Betham has made seven changes to his side following the defeat, with scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i taking over as captain. 

Rey Lee-Lo and George Pisi form a new-look centre partnership, with Paul Perez pushing out to the wing after Alesana Tuilagi was given a controversial five-week ban for raising his knee whilst running with the ball towards an opponent. 

Bristol's Jack Lam and Bath's Alafoti Faosiliva are given starting spots in the back-row, whilst Samoan-based Patrick Fa'apale will make his World Cup debuts if he joins the game from the bench. 

How the sides line up

Scotland: 1 Alasdair Dickinson, 2 Ross Ford, 3 WP Nel

4 Richie Gray, 5 Jonny Gray

6 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Hardie, 8 David Denton

9 Greig Laidlaw, 10 Finn Russell

11 Tommy Seymour, 12 Matt Scott, 13 Mark Bennett, 14 Sean Maitland, 15 Stuart Hogg

Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Sean Lamont


1. Sakari Taulafo, 2. Ma’atulimanu Leiataua, 3. Census Johnston
4. Teofilo Paulo, 5. Kane Thompson
6. Maurie Faasavalu, 7. Jack Lam, 8. Alafoti Faosiliva
9. Kahn Fotuali'i (captain), 10. Tusi Pisi
11. Fa'atoina Autagavaia, 12. Rey Lee-Lo, 13. George Pisi, 14. Paul Perez, 15. Tim Nanai-Williams

Replacements: 16. Motu Matu'u, 17. Viliamu Afatia, 18. Anthony Perenise, 19. Faifili Levave, 20. Vavae Tuilagi, 21. Vavao Afemai, 22. Patrick Faapale, 23. Ken Pisi